Tune of the Day: O Come, All Ye Faithful
“Adeste Fideles” is the name of the tune to “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, and the first line of the Latin text for which the tune was originally written. The tune is now commonly attributed to John Francis Wade, an English hymnist of the 18th century. The text itself has unclear beginnings, and may have been written in the 13th century, though it has recently been concluded that Wade was probably the author.
Before the emergence of John Francis Wade as the probable composer, the tune had been purported to be written by several musicians: from John Reading and his son to Handel, including a Portuguese musician, Marcos Antonio da Fonseca, who wasn't born until after the tune was first published. There are several similar musical themes written around that time, though it can be hard to determine whether these were written in imitation of the hymn, the hymn was based on them, or they are totally unconnected.