Ding Dong Merrily on High: the Lyrics and the Meaning

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The lyrics of Ding Dong! Merrily on High is a sprightly carol known for its seemingly never-ending line or ‘Glorias’ and is one the most beloved Christmas melodies around - with good reason too because it's filled with happiness and delightfully catchy tune that just won't quit! But what are the lyrics and do they have a meaning? Let's take a closer look!
Ding Dong Merrily on High: the Lyrics and the Meaning | Love to Sing

The lyrics of Ding Dong! Merrily on High is a sprightly carol known for its seemingly never-ending line of ‘Glorias’ and is one the most beloved Christmas melodies around - with good reason too because it's filled with happiness and a delightfully catchy tune that just won't quit! But what are the lyrics and do they have a meaning? Let's take a closer look!

When was Ding Dong Merrily on High composed?

The melody of Ding Dong! Merrily on High was first composed as a secular dance tune known under the title "Branle de l'Official", in Orchésographie written by the French cleric, composer, and writer Jehan Tabourot (1519–1593) sometime in the mid-1500s.

It wasn't until George Ratcliffe Woodward, an English writer, and church bell ringing enthusiast wrote the lyrics for Ding Dong! Merrily on High in the early 1900s. This version of the song was first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons. Woodward took an interest in church bell ringing, which no doubt aided him in writing it. The lyrics are adapted from a 16th-century French tune called "Les Bouffons" (or "The Buffoons"). The original French lyrics were actually quite bawdy, but Woodward adapted them to be more family-friendly.





What do the Ding Dong Merrily on High lyrics mean?

The lyrics of Ding Dong! Merrily on High are actually quite vague, and don't seem to have a specific meaning. They're simply about rejoicing and being merry during the Christmas season. However, some people have interpreted the lyrics as being about the coming of Jesus Christ and the joy that His birth brings.

What are the lyrics to Ding Dong Merrily on a High?

Ding dong! Merrily on high
In heav’n the bells are ringing
Ding dong! Verily the sky
Is riv’n with angel singing

Gloria
Hosanna in excelsis!

E’en so here below, below
Let steeple bells be swungen
And io, io, io!
By priest and people sungen

Gloria
Hosanna in excelsis!

Pray you, dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers
May you beautifully rime
Your evetime song, ye singers

Gloria
Hosanna in excelsis!

Ding Dong! Merrily on High, indeed! The lyrics of this song are cheerful and uplifting, making it the perfect choice to sing in the holiday season. While the true meaning of the song may remain a mystery, that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. We hope you have enjoyed learning about this classic Christmas carol. Merry Christmas!

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