While Shepherds Watched


h1 December 1st, 2019

“While Shepherds Watched” was composed in 1703 by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady. The melody was taken from “Siroe,” an opera by George Frederick Handel.
This was the first paraphrased psalm allowed to be sung in the Anglican Church.
An amusing children’s parody was “While Shepherds wash their socks by night!”
Lyrics:
1. [E] While shepherds watched their [A] flocks by night,
[C#m] All seated on the [B7]ground,
[A] The angel of the [C#m] Lord came down,
[A] And [B7] glory shone [E] around.
“Fear not,” he said, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds;
“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 Savior, who 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 swaddling-clothes
And in a manger laid.”

3. Thus spake the seraph,–and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels, praising God, Jesus
That was their joyful song
“All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Good will henceforth from Heaven to men
Begin and never cease.”

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