The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

While Shepherds Watched

For Christmas

Song of the Angels, at the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour

Luke II. From Verse 8 to Verse 15

Words: Nahum Tate (1659-1715); first appeared in Tate and Brady’s Supplement, 1700.

Music: Traditional

Meter: CM (86 86)

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #31, pp. 54-55.

1. While Shepherds watch'd their flocks by night,
     All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
     And glory shone all around.
 “ Fear not, said he (for mighty dread
     Had seized their troubled mind).
“ Glad tidings of great joy I bring
     To you and all mankind."

2. “ To you in David's town this day
     Is born of David's line,
A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord;
     And this shall be the sign.
 The Heavenly Babe you there shall find
     To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
     And in a manger laid.

3. Thus spake the Seraph: and forthwith
     Appeared a shining throng
Of Angels, praising God, who thus
     Addressed their joyful song.
“ All glory be to God on high,
     And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth from heaven to men
     Begin and never cease."

Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), pp. 54-55.

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