Charles Wesley, an itinerant preacher and the “Bard of Methodism,” penned the Advent hymn text Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus and first published it in his Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1744). Like most of the 5000+ hymns Wesley wrote, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus references Scripture passages in nearly every phrase and this hymn text also neatly combines both meanings of Advent – the preparation for Christmas and the preparation for Christ’s second coming.
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Wesley’s text is normally paired with one of two tunes, Stuttgart or Hyfrydol, but in this piano arrangement I chose a lesser-used tune for Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus – Jefferson – a folk tune with roots in the early American singing schools that used shaped notes to teach rural people to read music. I matched up this earthy and rustic melody with the more ethereal and elegant Advent hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel for a “shabby chic” easy piano arrangement that evokes a feeling of longing perfect for the Advent season. Enjoy!