The Shepherd Watchers

Representative Text

1 While humble shepherds watched their flocks
in Bethlehem's plains by night,
an angel sent from heaven appeared,
and filled the plains with light.

2 'Fear not' he said, for sudden 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,
the 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; and thus
addressed their joyful song:

6 'All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will is shown by heaven to men
and never more shall cease.'

Source: Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #296

Author: Nahum Tate

Nahum Tate was born in Dublin and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, B.A. 1672. He lacked great talent but wrote much for the stage, adapting other men's work, really successful only in a version of King Lear. Although he collaborated with Dryden on several occasions, he was never fully in step with the intellectual life of his times, and spent most of his life in a futile pursuit of popular favor. Nonetheless, he was appointed poet laureate in 1692 and royal historiographer in 1702. He is now known only for the New Version of the Psalms of David, 1696, which he produced in collaboration with Nicholas Brady. Poverty stricken throughout much of his life, he died in the Mint at Southwark, where he had taken refuge from his creditors… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: While humble shepherds watched their flocks
Title: The Shepherd Watchers
Author: Nahum Tate
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

WINCHESTER OLD

WINCHESTER OLD is a famous common-meter psalm tune, presumably arranged by George Kirbye (b. Suffolk, England, c. 1560; d. Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, 1634) from a melody in Christopher Tye's Acts of the Apostles and published in T. Este's The Whole Book of Psalmes (1592) set to Psalm 84. Ki…

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BETHLEHEM (Fink)


CHRISTMAS (Handel)

The tune is based on the the beginning of the soprano aria "Non vi piacque ingiusti dei" from the opera "Siroe"

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Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #8362
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

Instances (1 - 7 of 7)
TextPage Scan

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #296

Text

Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #296

Hymns of the Saints #236

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #8362

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #T137e

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #T139b

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #T68d

Include 10 pre-1979 instances
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