Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Many Authors, Many Tunes Can Twist Things Up

This Christmas carol has been around since the 1600s, but no one can actually pinpoint who did what to the song as it evolved along the way.

The earliest manuscript was found in a library and had King John IV of Portugal’s name of the early 1600s on it as the author. The song was originally written in Latin and titled Adeste Fideles.

Even More Johns

Along came John Reading in the second half of the 1600s and then John Francis Wade in the 1700s as authors of this song.  Apparently, every time the song was set down, someone came along and added a few more verses to it until it went from four to eight. It was translated into numerous languages.

Then the English got a hold of it in 1841, and Catholic priest Frederick Oakeley penned more verses and translated the others into English. He also created the harmonies that we now sing with this song. 

There is a manuscript in Lancashire from 1751, which is supposed to be the oldest known version of this song. It was performed at Stonyhurst by the Stonyhurst Choir in 2014.

Stolen Voices

The original lyrics that King John IV of Portugal penned may have been stolen from St. Bonaventure of the 13th century or stolen from the monks of the German, Portuguese, Spanish or Cistercian orders.  The money is on the monks, no matter who else tinkered with the song.

King John IV got writing credit because he was known as a patron of the arts and music, and he was a sophisticated composer and writer. He founded music schools and had one of the largest musical libraries in the world. It was destroyed during the Lisbon earthquake in 1755.

Here are the original four Latin verses of this extremely popular song:

Adeste Fideles

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum:
Venite adoremus (3×)

Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine
Gestant puellæ viscera
Deum verum, genitum non factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)

Cantet nunc io, chorus angelorum;
Cantet nunc aula cælestium,
Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo,
Venite adoremus (3×)

Ergo qui natus die hodierna.
Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Patris æterni Verbum caro factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)

No matter who penned it, who swiped the music or who gets credit for it, this popular song is sung by choirs everywhere and is a cherished Christmas carol.

Today’s arrangement is compliments of Sir David Willcocks who published it again in 1961.

O Come All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

God of God, light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God, begotten, not created:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!
Glory to God, glory in the highest:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing!
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Because I want to present this song as a dignified Christmas carol, I am only going to give you the link to this YouTube video for you to explore on your own. It was worth watching because it was SO bizarre and made me laugh out loud long enough to disturb the dog. 

Click at your own discretion; it’s a scream!

Here is a much more reverent and dignified version Smile from one of my all time favorite groups.

Now that Chicago Transit Authority has given you a sweet carol to hum as you shop, let’s add these goodies to the Christmas lists for friends and family.

White Pearl Drop Earrings

Pretty Gonzo 

White Crochet Flower Brooch or Pin

RSS Designs in Fiber 

White Iridescent Art Glass Plate with Blue or Green Snowflake

Resetar Glass Art 

Swarovski White Pearl Bracelet Victorian Style Bracelet

Treasures of Jewels 


Kevs Krafts 

Long Black and White Lariat Necklace

Blue Morning Expressions 

Landscapes Of White Sands 10 Art Print

Colleen Cornelius 

Crocheted Baby Irish Knit Sweater w Matching Hat

Magdalene Knits 

Tropical Sticker Labels

Adore by Nat 

Frosted White Lampwork Wedding Bride Earrings

Shadow Dog Designs 

Westie Coaster

Sew Amazin 

Black and White Ebony Exotic Wood Earrings


Red and White Superduo Snakeskin Beadwoven Handmade Cuff Bracelet

Kats All That 

Milky White Opalite Glass Stone Earrings

The Singing Beader 

White Glass Pearl Tibetan Bead Dangle Women's Necklace

Lady Green Eyes Jewelry 

Etched White Lampwork Beads Handmade Opaque Matte Glass Round

Covergirl Beads 

White Statement Necklace

Blonde Peach Jewelry 

White Bridge landscape painting


Gold White Pearl Teardrop Earrings


Mother of Pearl Nugget Sterling Nautilus Charm Beaded Coil Bracelet

Diane’s Dangles 

Don’t see what you are looking for? Maybe you will find it in some of the following showcases or ask one of our talented artists to design something special for you.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Here are more shopping opportunities for you:

O Holy Night
The First Noel
Silver Bells
Jingle Bells

Hurry because handmade sells out fast, and when they are gone, they are gone! Buy now.


  1. Gorgeous selections thanks and also for the interesting note.

    Tweeted and promoted. @waterrox

  2. Thank you Julie! Really enjoyed reading your post. Have promoted everything and will now promote your post. Lovely items included!

  3. Julie, the white selections are heavenly. Pinned each item @lindab142.

    Thanks for including my white teardrop earrings.

    Will promote the post, too.

  4. Thank you, Julie! Shared all items.

  5. Pretty collection of Christmas gift ideas, thank you for including my bracelet, will share.

  6. White is so nice! Thanks for featuring our whites along with a few non white beauties. Pinned and Tweeted...

  7. As always, an interesting read, Julie! Amazing how the song evolved and how one person poached from another. Whatever the true story, the song is a beauty. Many thanks for putting it together and for sharing all the lovelies in white, including my earrings. Will share the post far and wide, along with the items. Seamus sends his good friend, the Handsome Blu, tasty dog treats for a Wednesday evening snack.

  8. Very interesting history on a lovely carol. But Twisted Sister!! UGH>>>> Anyway, I did get a laugh out of that one. Thank you for making our week winter white and for including my beaded bracelet!

  9. Interesting story and what a sorted history. Thanks for including my lampwork beads.

  10. Thank you for the white Christmas treasures and for including my snowflake plates. Always interesting to read your post!

    I've shared all at -

  11. Thank you Julie! Shared the post, pinned and scheduled tweets for each item. :-)

  12. Thanks for all the work you put into this post, Julie and beautiful Blu! And thanks for including my white pearl drop earrings with all these wonderful holiday gift ideas. :) Will be sharing!

  13. Thanks Julie and Blu for a wonderful post. Love the history of this song. Twisted Sisters too funny singing this song. Thanks for the laugh. Thank you for including my pearl bracelet. Off to share.

  14. Darn, how the heck did I miss this? I don't think that I received a message. Oops ;) I am going to happily share now. ♡

  15. It's always a wonderful visit to your blog. Thank you so much for including my Tropical stickers. Off to share.