I had a nice training today with a favorite client. There were lots of interesting discussions and deep questions. I’ve also been enjoying helping another client get ready for a meeting. In both cases, we have some excellent collaboration going on. That’s what I like: using my skills to help clients meet their goals.

Charles Wesley wrote the words to today’s song. He asked for a slow and solemn tune, but if you add some drums and sign the whole thing forte, it sounds pretty fierce. Mendelssohn wrote the tune, which was not the one Wesley chose. Mendelssohn’s tune is grand, though, and can actually be slow and solemn with no trouble. It was part of his cantata celebrating Gutenberg.

In short, neither of them got what they initially had in mind.

But a lot of other people messed around with the tune and the words, and we’ve ended up with a truly magnificent Christmas Carol.

We don’t usually sing all the verses, but here they are:

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”


Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.


Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.


Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.


Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.


Sometimes working with clients involves doing what they say, however bad an idea it is, listening to their hissy fits and then having to listen to their apologies, and rooms full of people not getting what they want. Nobody likes that.

But a good collaboration can be enormously satisfying. I hope that Wesley and Mendelssohn both heard, assuming they were alive to enjoy it, what a terrific carol it was when everyone finished with it.