The words of The Kings by Peter Cornelius (1824 to 1874) with the music from, and english words from, Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern by Philipp Nicolai written in 1597 and first published in 1599. Johann Sebastian Bach based his chorale cantata Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 on it and used single verses for other cantatas.
Peter Cornelius composed “Die Könige”, a song for solo voice and piano with the “Wie schön” melody in the accompaniment; this was later reworked into an Epiphany anthem in English for solo voice and chorus in which the soloist sings the text “Three Kings from Persian lands afar…” (using Conelius’s original tune) over the choir, which performs the chorale tune “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern”, taken from Cornelius’s original piano accompaniment, underneath. A version of “The Three Kings” is included in the first volume of the popular Willcocks and Jacques compilation Carols for Choirs.
I have known this work since my earliest days and can recall singing it at age 8 with my father. I remember him singing it before that so it is at least 65 years since I first came across this carol. The copy I have dates from then and is priced 3d. in old British coinage just to give you an idea. The booklet is undated and has no copyright information so I have assumed that it is no longer in copyright as it must be over 70 years old. If this is not the case please let me know.
I have also transposed that to TB as it is: The Kings TB with piano (PDF)
I have additionally made my own arrangement of the TB version as a TTBB score: The Kings TTBB with piano (PDF)
If you would like any files such as MIDI, Music XML, MP3 you can get them here.