89a. While shepherds watched their flocks by night

1 While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

2 'Fear not,' said he (for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind);
'glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.

3 'To you in David's town this day
is born of David's line
a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

4 'the heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.'

5 Thus spake the seraph; and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song:

6 'All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to men
begin and never cease.'

Text Information
First Line: While shepherds watched their flocks by night
Author: Nahum Tate (1652-1715)
Meter: CM
Language: English
Publication Date: 2013
Topic: Angels; Children and All-Age Worship; Christmas (2 more...)
Tune Information
Composer (attributed to): George Kirbye (c. 1565-1634)
Composer (descant): Alan Gray (1855-1935)
Meter: CM
Key: F Major
Source: In Thomas Este's The whole booke of psalmes, 1592; Possibly derived from Christopher Tye's The Actes of the Apostles, 1553

More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.