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Here's an etymology question, if you will: the choruses of "Ding Dong Merrily on High" and "Angels We Have Heard On High" have the same melody for the first few bars, and on the same word. This seems specific enough to be more than just coincidence; is there perhaps an even-more-traditional "Gloria" that these two songs are both drawing from, or some other explanation?

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  • @DavidBowling Ah. I wasn't aware that existed. If that's the policy, though, I'd appreciate an update to the question-asking guidance to clarify what music history topics are appropriate for here vs. there.
    – SirTechSpec
    Nov 15, 2018 at 3:14

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Your hunch is right, @SirTechSpec. The tune comes from an old French dance called: Branle de l'Official. (Danced to it myself in my younger days...) More info here.

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