While humble shepherds watched their flocks

Full Text

While humble shepherds watched their flocks
in Bethleh’m’s plains by night,
An angel sent from heav’n appeared,
and filled the plains with light.

Fear not, he said, (for sudden 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,
The Saviour, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

The heav’nly Babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
All meanly wrapt in swaddling-bands,
and in a manger laid.

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

All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
Good-will is shown by Heav’n to men,
and never more shall cease.

Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases

Text Information

First Line: While humble shepherds watched their flocks



Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having heard the tune in Kingsfold,…

Go to tune page >



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…

Go to tune page >