It came upon a midnight clear - Edmund H. Sears & Richard S. Willis

Translated into ASL by David Bar-Tzur

Created 21 December 2005, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

EXPLANATION OF THE GLOSSING SYSTEM
(to understand how I describe the signs in this translation).

1. HAPPEN DURING MIDNIGHT CLEAR,
FAMOUS STORY LONG-AGO.
ANGEL CLOSER+ TO EARTH
PLAY HARP GOLD.
PEACE FOR EARTH, GOD LOVE (2h)#ALL.
HEAVEN ITS-rt,hi KING SEND GRACE.
WORLD SERIOUS SILENT LISTEN
WHILE ANGEL SING TO THEM-ctr.

2. MORE-AND-MORE ANGEL ARRIVE,
THEIR-rt,hi WING CAUSE WIND BLOW.
MORE-AND-MORE THEIR MUSIC SPREADwg.
SETTLE-DOWN-ON PEOPLE TIRED HERE EARTH.
ANGEL FLY ABOVE LAND SAD.
HAVE-MERCY-ON PEOPLE THEY-rt,hi SEE.
TALK-AROUND BECOME QUIET,
WHEN alt.HEAR ANGEL SING.

3. WORLD SUFFER UP-TO-NOW
TROUBLE, SORROW, SIN.
ANGEL SING+ HELP SOLVE
TWO THOUSAND YEAR WRONG+.
MANY NATION BUSY WAR,
PREVENT HEAR MUSIC ABOVE.
NOT-YET LEARN LOVE.
QUIET (2h)YOU SOLDIER, PAY-ATTENTION-above
HEAR WHAT ANGEL SING.

4. (2h)YOU FEEL LIFE BURDEN-PUSH+
YOUR BODY BEND-DOWN+.
EVERYDAY (2h)YOU WORK"over time"
WALK SLOW, PAIN.
LOOK"look++" ANGEL BRING
HAPPY INFORMATION FOR US.
SIT-DOWN REST, WORK PUT-ASIDE,
PAY-ATTENTION ANGEL SING.

5. KNOW-THAT TIME NOW HURRY-ON
LONG-AGO BIBLE PREDICT.
YEARS-AND-YEARS GO-IN-CYCLE+.
ARRIVE TIME-PERIOD GOLD.
LOOK-FORWARD PEACE SPREAD EARTH.
REALLY-WANT WAR HAPPEN NO MORE.
EARTH GENERAL SING #BACK-TO HEAVEN.
COPY-above ANGEL THEY-rt,hi SING.


Notes: LONG-AGO

CLOSER+ - Like ARRIVE, but DH gets closer, then closer to the NDH.

HARP - (2h)[open 8], move in circles, moving away and coming back as if gliding across the strings of a harp.

(2h)#ALL - (2h)[A], POs ><, FOs up, are held at shoulder height and move away while opening to (2h)[L].

GRACE - [O^] or [S], held high and PO > Heaven, supinates and opens to [5] while being brought towards head. For an animated gif of this sign, see Animated dictionary of religious signs - Deaf Missions: Grace.

THEM - Underlined prounouns (ME, YOU, HE) are honorific indices ("indexes"), using the FT of the upturned palm to indicate who is being honored.

MORE-AND-MORE - The sign MORE is repeated with the NDH held in place.

WING - (2h)[B^] are held out like the final position of ANGEL and the FT are fluttered slightly.

CAUSE - (2h)[S] are held at the chest as if holding a rope and move forward while opening to (2h)[5]. For a QuickTime movie of this sign, see ASL browser - cause.

WIND BLOW - At first (2h)[5], POs ><, FOs away, move in small figure-eights to show the wind and then in larger, faster figure-eights to show the strength of the wind. Both signs are not strictly necessary, but done here to follow the rhythm of the music. You will notice that a number of signs are repeated for the same reason.

SETTLE-DOWN-ON - (2h)[5], POs down, FOs away, descend.

FLY - (2h)[B^] are held out like the final position of ANGEL and the arms show the wings flapping.

ABOVE - Like COLLEGE but NDH is PO down.

HAVE-PITY-ON - (2h)[open 8], POs away, hands move in vertical circles normal (perpendicular) to the chest.

TALK-AROUND - Like GOSSIP, but opening and closing [O^].

UP-TO-NOW - (2h)[1^], POs down, index fingers travel up the chest on the DS until they end (2h)[1], POs > singer, FOs up.

SORROW - SAD.

SIN - (2h)[X] touch their respective sides of the mouth, descend to neutral space and circle antisymmetrically parallel to the chest. For an animated gif of this sign, see Animated dictionary of religious signs - Deaf Missions: Sin.

BURDEN-PUSH+ - (2h)[B^] touch DS shoulder with FT and push down twice; each time the shoulder dips down > DS.

BEND-DOWN+ - [S] is held up like a head and the "head" bends down twice, further and further.

WORK"over time" - The sign WORK has DH moves in vertical circles several times while mouthing "sta".

LOOK"look++" - (2h)[V] point FTs > angels while mouthing "look look look".

SIT-DOWN - (2h)[B], POs down, FOs away, hands descend slowly.

PUT-ASIDE - (2h)[B], POs > DS, with DH higher, palms are pressed against imaginary wall that is pushed to one side.

KNOW-THAT - Starts like KNOW but twists and descends, looking almost like DON'T-KNOW except the hand twists down at the end.

HURRY-ON - HURRY.

BIBLE - This sign varies according to denomination. The most frequent are JESUS BOOK, GOD BOOK and B-LAW.

YEARS-AND-YEARS - YEAR is repeated with effort.

GO-IN-CYCLE+ - (2h)[1], POs towards, FOs ><. FT touch, DH moves in a circle normal (perpendicular) to the chest until FT touch again. This sign is repeated.

TIME-PERIOD - [T], PO > NDS, FO up, travels in a vertical plane parallel to the NDH and makes contact with NDH [B], PO > DS, FO away. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Period - Time.

LOOK-FORWARD - (2h)[V] FTs point diagonally up and move slightly in that direction twice.

REALLY-WANT - WANT but shaken back and forth to show intensity.

#BACK-TO - [B], PO away, FO up, fingers curl, then staighten to a [K], while moving towards Heaven.

COPY-above - Dorsal (back) side of NDH points > Heaven.

Lyrics:

1. It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
"Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven's all gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

2. Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The bless¸d angels sing.

3. Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

4. And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

5. For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

treble clef as a symbol for musicTo hear the music (without words), go to Cyber hymnal: It came upon a midnight clear.

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