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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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Pettman_31b-I_Should_Like_To_Have_Heard.jpg (283652 bytes)

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