"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
- A Muppet Family Christmas - In the Christmas caroling medley near the end of this crossover special, the first verse was sung by Scooter, backed by chickens and the casts of The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. It gets the attention of Gobo Fraggle and his friends, inciting them to check out where these songs are coming from, and ultimately luring them from out of Fraggle Rock into "Outer Space".
- Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas
- 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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