It Came Upon the Midnight Clear – guitar chords, tabs, and finger-style arrangement

Last updated on February 8th, 2024


It Came Upon the Midnight Clear is song written by Edmund H. Sears to the tune Carol by Richard Willis. In this lesson, we cover the guitar chords for this song, sheet music including tabs and also a finger style guitar arrangement.

Grab your guitar and let’s get started!

How to read the guitar chord charts

To clarify how to read the chord charts in the next section, the top horizontal line represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string. The vertical lines separate each fret. The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand. 

For example, on the C Major chord, you use the:

  • 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret
  • 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger on the 5th string, 3rd fret
  • Circles represent open strings
  • X means to avoid the string

You can check this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.

Guitar chords for It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

The guitar chords for the sheet music in the next section are C Major, F/C, D 7, G Major, F Major, E Major, A minor, and D Major. You can click on the chords with links to learn different ways of playing that chord.

Try the following chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them. These chords will be written above the melody in the next section.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear guitar chords

Here are some other resources on chords:

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear guitar tabs and chords

For the sheet music below, keep in mind that the chords and melody are meant to be played as separate parts. We’ll look at how to connect these parts later in the arrangement section of this lesson.

The numbers next to some notes on the top staff indicate which fingers to use on the fretting hand. You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.

By the way, you can get all the PDFs of this song below.


It Came Upon the Midnight Clear guitar tabs and chords

You can also learn the guitar arrangement after the lyrics below.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear lyrics

Verse 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. 

Verse 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 o’er its Babel sounds 
the blessed angels sing. 

Verse 3:
But 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; –
Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing!

Verse 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! 

Verse 5:
For lo! the days are hastening on, 
by prophet seen of old, 
when with the ever-circling years 
shall come the time foretold 
when peace shall over all the earth 
its ancient splendors fling, 
and the whole world send back the song 
which now the angels sing.

References: 
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. hymnary.org
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. wikipedia.org

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear – guitar arrangement

In this section, we are essentially connecting the melody and chords together using a finger picking method of playing. If needed, check out this lesson to learn how to finger pick on guitar.


It Came Upon the Midnight Clear guitar arrangement

If you like this style of playing, you can check out this lesson to learn how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.

📘 Get the free guitar practice guide here!

Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.

All the best,

JG Music Lessons

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