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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


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We Three Kings





words and music: John H. Hopkins, Jr.

Arr: Ruth Randle 2006


As the Christmas season again approaches, we have selected an old carol that retells the Biblical account of the birth of Christ. This music was composed in 1857 by John H. Hopkins, Jr., who was later ordained as a priest of the Episcopal Church in Williamsport, PA. He is reputed to have written this carol for the General Theological Seminary in New York City as part of their Christmas pageant. His carol is the well-known story of the Three Wise Men (Magi), as documented in Matthew 2: 1-12. We see their representation in the many creches displayed during the Christmas Season. The carol, of course, is "We Three Kings of Orient Are". As related in the lyric verses, this old story, ever new, tells us of the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Traditions identify a variety of different names for the Magi. In the Western Christian church they have been commonly known as Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar. These names apparently derive from a Greek manuscript probably composed in Alexandria around 500 A.D., and which has been translated into Latin with the title Excerpta Latina Barbari. Another Greek document from the 8th century, of presumed Irish origin and translated into Latin with the title Collectanea et Flores, continues the tradition of three kings and their names, and gives additional facts.

The Historical Links below give further details.

Enjoy a very Blessed Holiday Season.

Your 1-3-5 Team


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If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

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  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


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