The lyrics were written by Jesse Edgar Middleton who was born Wellington County, Ontario, November 3, 1872, died May 27, 1960, in Toronto, Ont. He was a member of the United Church and while trained as teacher, he turned to journalism in 1895 wherein he became Montreal Herald’s correspondent in Quebec.
It was during this time that Ernest Myrand brought out Noels anciens de la Nouvelle-France (1899), (Old Hymns of New France) containing a French version of Father Brebeuf, S.J. carol written in 1641 for the Huron. Middleton then adapted the tune for English singers and then shortly afterward left the paper trade for choirmaster.