Song of the Angels, at the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour
Words: Nahum Tate (1659-1715); first appeared in Tate and Brady’s Supplement, 1700.
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
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.
Copies of this carol on this web site include:
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks - Gilbert (with notes and sheet music)
While Shepherds Watched - RR Terry (1933) (this page)
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