"Ding Dong Merrily on High" is a popular Christmas carol. The tune first appeared as a secular dance tune known as "le branle de l'Official" in Orchésographie, a dance book written by Jehan Tabourot. The lyrics are from English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward, and it was first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons. He took an interest in church bell ringing, which no doubt aided him in writing it. He was the author of several carol books, including Songs of Syon and The Cowley Carol Book. The macaronic style is characteristic of his delight in archaic poetry. Charles Wood harmonised the tune when it was published with Woodward's text in The Cambridge Carol Book. More recently, Sir David Willcocks made an arrangement for the second book of Carols for Choirs.

Appearances in Christmas specials

Album releases


Ding dong merrily on high
In Heaven the bells are ringing
Ding dong verily the sky
Is riven with angel singing
Gloria, Gloria Hosanna in excelsis
E'en so here below below
Let steeple bells be swungen
And i-o i-o i-o
By priest and people sungen
Pray you dutifully prime
Your matin chime ye ringers
May you beautiful rime
Your evetime song you singers
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