We Long to See You (Thee) So

The author of this Advent hymn is unknown, but was most likely an anonymous Sister of Notre Dame.

The song was published in “In Hymns and Canticles - verses Sacred and profane" produced by the Sisters of Notre Dame in London in 1903 (ref). and also possibly in "Convent Hymns and Music by the Sisters of Notre Dame" (1891).    The text shown below is a simplification of the original, with just the Advent verses included.

With meter, it is set to the same tune as the French folk-hymn "J'IRAI LA VOIR UN JOUR" - again the composer is unknown.

There are various verses in common use, some phrased as "we long to see thee" and some with a modernised "we long to see you".   All verses found to date, in both the "thee" and "you" versions, are given in the PowerPoint slides.


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Quartet, unaccompanied:

Solo singer, with guitar accompaniment:

Singer, self-accompanied on piano:

Singer with organ, professional recording:

Choir, recorded live in a church service:

Instrumental - piano:


We long to see Thee so,
To see Thee newly born.
The sands of time run slow,
We long for Christmas morn.

O come, o come, o come.
Our Saviour dear to be,
O come ,o come, o come,
We have no King but Thee.

We long to see You so,
To see the angel's glory,
To hear their midnight story
And with the Shepherds go.

We long to see You so,
To print our kisses sweet,
Upon your little feet
While tears of love shall flow.

We long to see Thee so!
No other joy can please us,
We want Thee baby Jesus,
The sands of time run slow.

We long to see Thee so!
The world will not receive Thee,
But we will never leave Thee,
To whom, Lord, could we go?

We long to see Thee so!
Sweet Christ-Child, do not tarry,
0 bring Him to us, Mary,
Amid the frost and snow.

ABC Notation

About ABC notation
T:We Long to See Thee So
Z:abc-transcription www.GodSongs.net
A,|"D"F2 E "F#m"F2 G |"Em"E3-"A"E2 A, | "Em"E2 D "A7"E2 F | "D" F3-F2  A,|
w:1~~~We long to see Thee so_ to see Thee new-ly born_ The
w:2~~~We long to see You so_ To see the an-gel's glory_ To
w:3~~~We long to see You so_ To print our kiss-es sweet_
w:4~~~We long to see Thee so_ No other joy can plea-se us, We
w:5~~~We long to see Thee so_ the world will not re-ceive Thee, But
w:6~~~We long to see Thee so_  Sweet Christ-Child, do not ta-rry, 0
F2 E "Bm"F2 G | "Em" E3-"A"E2 A, | "Em"E2 D "A7"E2 F | "D" D3-D2 F |
w:1~~~sands of time run slow_ We long for Christ-mas morn_ O
w:2~~~hear their mid-night sto-ry and with the shep-herds go_
w:3~~~Upon your litt-le feet_ While tears of love shall flow_
w:4~~~want Thee ba-by Jesus_ the sands of time run slow_
w:5~~~we will nev-er leave Thee, to whom, Lord, could we go?_
w:6~~~bring Him to us, Ma-ry, A-mid the frost and snow_
F2 A "A"A2 d | "D" d3-"Bm"d2 F  | "D"A2 D "F#m"F2 G | "Em"E3 z2 F |
w:come, o come, o come_ Our Savi-our dear to be, O
"D"F2 A "A"A2 d | "D"d3-"Bm"d2  F  | "D"A2 D "F#m" F2 E | "D" D3-D2  ||
w: come, o come, o come_ We have no King but Thee_

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