Reflections

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

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The carol “While Shepherds Watched” dates back to 1703.   You can hear this beautiful and beloved hymn which has stood the test of time for all these many years.  Just click on the video to the right.

The words for While shepherds watched were written by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brody. Only the Psalms of David were sung in the Anglican Church prior to that time. The familiar melody used for While Shepherds Watched was taken from “Siroe,” an opera by George Frederick Handel. On a lighter note children love to parody the words “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” and replacing them with “While Shepherds wash their socks by night!”

While Shepherds Watched : Lyrics and Music
While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around
And glory shone 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,
To you and all mankind.”

“To you in David’s
Town this day
Is born of David’s line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign.”

“The heavenly Babe
You there shall find
To human view displayed
And meanly wrapped
In swathing bands
And in a manger laid
And in a manger laid.”

Thus spake the seraph,
And forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song
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
Begin and never cease!”