The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The First Christmas Night

Alternate Title: I Should Like To Have Heard

Words: Rev. E. Husband

Music: W. H. Sangster, Mus. Doc.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer/ PDF

Source: Carol #143, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

1. I should like to have heard the Angels sing,
On that first great Christmas morn,
To have knelt and listened to music so sweet,
Oer the Babe in Bethlehem born.

Chorus:
But I may sing of that Babe today,
Oh, so tender, so kind, so fair,
And the Angels still gladden our Christmas morn,
And sing in our midnight air.

2. I should have like to have watched the great stars shine,
As they did that Christmas night;
Till my heart was bright with a heavenly flame,
And my soul was bathed in light.

Chorus:
But the stars are still there in heaven above,
And as sweetly still they shine;
And the lapse of years and the wear of time
Make no change in that heaven of mine.

3. I should like to have been a shepherd there,
To have watched my flock by night,
To have seen the wonderful glory shine,
Till the hills were paved with light.

Chorus:
But I need no Bethel hill to climb
Nor a shepherd my calling be,
For Im but a sheep, and no shepherd I,
That Jesus must be to me.

4. I should like to have seen that manger crib,
To have knelt before that shrine,
To have laid my gift at those tender feet,
And have worshipped the Babe divine.

Chorus:
But I may worship that Babe today,
And as truly my Christmas see,
For His presence is now my Bethlehem,
And His love shall my carol be.

Graphic Line

Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #143

The_First_Christmas_Night_143.gif (248095 bytes)

Sheet Music from Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), No. 31, pp. 40-41.

Pettman_31a-I_Should_Like_To_Have_Heard.jpg (470048 bytes)

Pettman_31b-I_Should_Like_To_Have_Heard.jpg (283652 bytes)

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