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The Angel's Sweet Refrain

As the shepherds watched at midnight

Author: Grant Colfax Tullar
Tune: [As the shepherds watched at midnight]
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. As the shepherds watched at midnight
On the hills so far away,
Suddenly a light shone ’round them,
Turning midnight into day.
Then each heart was filled with wonder,
For they could not understand
Why the angel host that gathered
Brought to them such music grand.

Angels, sing your sweet refrain—
Glory in the highest, glory!
Tell the waiting earth your story
Of the Christ who came to reign.
Sing—sing that sweet song again,
Earth and sky repeat the story—
Glory in the highest, glory!
On earth peace, good will to men.

2. All the earth was clothed with beauty
When there came that angel throng,
Every heart was filled with gladness
As they listened to the song;
Never had they heard such music,
Or beheld such wondrous light,
Filling all the earth with glory,
As the angel brought that night. [Refrain]

3. Though we could not hear the angels
Singing forth their glad refrain;
We can celebrate His birthday
As it comes to us again.
We can, like the shepherds, worship,
Lay our lives at Jesus’ feet;
With our hearts we can adore Him
And the angels’ song repeat. [Refrain]

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #189

Author: Grant Colfax Tullar

Grant Colfax Tullar was born August 5, 1869, in Bolton, Connecticut. He was named after the American President Ulysses S. Grant and Vice President Schuyler Colfax. After the American Civil War, his father was disabled and unable to work, having been wounded in the Battle of Antietam. Tullar's mother died when he was just two years old so Grant had no settled home life until he became an adult. Yet from a life of sorrow and hardship he went on to bring joy to millions of Americans with his songs and poetry. As a child, he received virtually no education or religious training. He worked in a woolen mill and as a shoe clerk. The last Methodist camp meeting in Bolton was in 1847. Tullar became a Methodist at age 19 at a camp meeting near Wat… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: As the shepherds watched at midnight
Title: The Angel's Sweet Refrain
Author: Grant Colfax Tullar
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Angels, sing your sweet refrain
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #189
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #189

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
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