The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Angelís Song

Alternate Title: Last Night As I Lay Sleeping

Versions:
 Last Night As I Lay Sleeping
Last Night I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Last Night I Lay A-sleeping
The Angels Song (Version 2 of Last Night As I Lay Sleeping)
 The Boy's Dream ("Last night as I was laid and slept")

See also: When At Night I Go To Sleep
Guardian Angels

Words and Music: Charles Vincent
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Carol 606, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New
(Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

1. Last night as I lay sleeping,
When all my prayers were said,
With my guardian Angel keeping
His watch above my head.
I heard His sweet voice caroling,
Full softly on my ear,
A song for Christian boys to sing,
For Christian men to hear

2. Thy body be at rest, dear boy,
Thy soul be free from sin;
Iíll shield thee from the worldís annoy,
And breath pure words within.
The holy Christmas tide is nigh,
The season of Christís birth.

Refrain
Glory be to God on high,
And peace to men on earth."

3. "Myself, and all the heavínly host,
Were keeping watch of old;
And saw the shepherds at their posts,
And all the sheep in fold.
Then told we them with joyful cry,
The tidings of Christís birth. Refrain

4. "He bowíd to all His Fatherís will,
And meek He was and lowly,
And year by year His thoughts were still
Most innocent and holy.
He did not come to strive or cry,
But renderíd from His birth. Refrain

5. "Like Him be true, Like Him be pure,
Like Him be full of love;
Seek not thine own, and so secure
Thine own that is above.
And still when Christmas tide draws nigh,
O sing thou of Jesusís birth.

Refrain
Glory unto God on high,
And peace to men on earth."

Note: The refrain does not follow verse 1.

Carol 606, Rev. Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New
(Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

Angels_Song_606a.gif (416665 bytes)

Angels_Song_606b.gif (257517 bytes)

Sylvester's Note to Last Night As I Lay Sleeping:

The old religious belief that a guardian angel was appointed to watch over each bed, and that he occasionally held intercourse with the occupant, here forms the machinery of a carol. The composition probably dates back several generations. It is now immediately taken from an old carol-sheet, never before having been included in a collection.

Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvester" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.

 

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