This is another carol
that's very well known over here, and will almost always be sung at the Yuletide
mass(es). The words are by Nathum Tate
, written in 1700, and the music is called 'Winchester
Old'. Most people seem to lap it up, but it just seems rather dreary
and repetetive. After verse 2 you've forgotten everything but the staid
and sluggish nature of the beast
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone 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.
"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 swathing bands,
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:
"All glory be to God on high
and on earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to me
begin and never cease."
back to Christmas carols