Thomas Hansen Kingo (15 December 1634 – 14 October 1703 Odense) was a Danish bishop, poet and hymn-writer born at Slangerup, near Copenhagen. His work marked the high point of Danish baroque poetry.
He belonged to a rather poor family partly of Scottish origin and was educated a clergyman. In his youth, Kingo wrote a series of poems picturing humorous scenes in village life and a pastoral love poem, Chrysillis. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen, graduating in 1654, and for some time acted as private tutor. In 1661 he was appointed vicar to the pastor at Kirke Helsinge, and in 1668 he was ordained a minister at his native town, where his poetic activity began.
At first he essayed patriotic poems, but later devoted h… Go to person page >
Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…