The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Shepherds! Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep

For Christmas

Alternate Title: A Shepherd’s Carol

Words: Berger, Secoue Ton Sommeil Profond, An Old Besançon Carol
This carol from the eastern part of France, appeared in the "Recueil de Noëls anciens au patois de Besançon," which was published in 1842. The melody is probably from the seventeenth century.

Translation: Unknown

Tune: Besançon Melody
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

Compare: Shepherds, The Chorus Come And Swell!

Source: Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol 726

1. Shepherds! Shake off your drowsy sleep,
Rise and leave your silly sheep;
Angels from heaven loud are singing;1
Tidings of great joy are bringing.

Shepherds! The chorus come and swell!
Sing Noel! Sing Noel!

2. Hark? Even now the bells ring round,
Listen to their merry sound;
Hark! How the birds new songs are making
As if the winter's chains were breaking.

3. See how the flowers all burst anew,
Thinking snow is summer dew;
See how the stars afresh are glowing,
All their brightest beams bestowing.

4. Cometh at length the age of peace,
Strife and sorrow now shall cease;
Prophets foretold the wondrous story
Of this Heaven-born Prince of Glory.

5. Shepherds! Then up and quick away,
Seek the Babe ere break of day;
He is the hope of every nation,
All in Him shall find salvation.

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol 726

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1. Or: Angels from heav'n 'around' are singing. Return

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