136. Go, Tell It on the Mountain

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born!

1 While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. [Refrain]

2 The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo! above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth. [Refrain]

3 Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation
that blessed Christmas morn. [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: While shepherds kept their watching
Title: Go, Tell It on the Mountain
Author (stanzas): John W. Work II (1940)
Publication Date: 2013
Meter: with refrain
Scripture: Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:6-20
Topic: Christian Year: Nativity/Christmas; Christian Year: Epiphany; Jesus Christ: Birth
Source: African American spiritual
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Go, tell it on the mountain
Tune Information
Arranger: John W. Work III (1940)
Harmonizer: Melva Wilson Costen (1987)
Meter: with refrain
Key: F Major
Source: African American spiritual
Copyright: Harm. © 1989 Melva Wilson Costen

Text Information:

Like other material from oral traditions, 19th-century African American spirituals flourished without being written down. Their refrains were their most stable parts, and narrative stanzas were often improvised to fit. These Nativity stanzas attempt to recall that tradition.

Audio recording: Audio (MP3)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.