Ding Dong Merrily on High: Ukulele Tabs

One of my favorite Christmas Carols has become “Ding Dong Merrily on High.”  Last year, I found Peter Edvinsson’s easy-to-play version of “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and enjoyed playing the song with a friend playing chords to accompany the melody line.  Fun, lively, spirited.  Edvinsson has other Christmas ukulele tabs as well.

The words to “Ding Dong Merrily on High” were written by George R. Woodward (1848-1934), who wrote several hymn texts.  He was born just after Christmas and you can find more details about hymns at  Cyberhymnal.org.

If a song is included in cyberhymnal.org then typically a piano score and midi file of the song is available for download. The midi can then be imported into Tabledit and edited or transposed for ukulele.

According to  Hymns and Carols of Christmas:

This carol is an example of  a secular dance tune evolving into a carol. ” The tune first appeared in the Orchesographie, a dance book written by Johan Tabourot (1519-93), a canon of Langres, under the anagram Thoinot Arbeau. ‘Branle l’Officiel’ was to be danced by ‘lackeys and serving wenches and sometimes by young men and maids of gentle birth masquerading as peasants and shepherd.”

Elizabeth Poston based her version of “Ding Dong Merrily on High” on these lyrics.

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!

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