While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks…

My favorite Christmas carol as a child was “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night”. In my mind it told the most spectacular part of the Christmas story, angels appearing in the middle of the night to Shepherds on a hillside.

I was deathly afraid of the dark so the 2nd verse spoke volumes to me.

“Fear not,” said he; for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind.”

I could well image how terrified they must have been to be out in the dark at night and then to be addressed suddenly by an angel.

But fear made way to…“Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind”. The angel spoke of a Savior and of peace between God and men.

It was written by Naham Tate, an Irishman, who moved to London in his twenties. He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1692 until his death in 1715. He wrote these lyrics in 1700 (approximately).

The tune is by George F. Handel. (1685 – 1759) Probably taken from an aria he wrote in 1728.

Here is a recording of the most familiar version.

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Hymn Charts with Lyrics, Contemporary) – YouTube

Here is another version that is probably almost as old. The tune is “Winchester Old”.

WINCHESTER OLD WHILE SHEPHERD WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS – YouTube

Here is a new version from 2013 by Craig Courtney that is also lovely.

Atlanta Master Chorale | While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Courtney) – YouTube

I will finish the list out with one more – “The Yorkshire Version”

While Shepherds Watched – The Yorkshire Version by Stamford Bridge Singers – YouTube

There are many other versions. Sorry if I didn’t mention your favorite.

What was your favorite Christmas carol as a child? Let me know what it was and why.

I Hear My Savior

I posted this a few months ago and promised you the music. You can find the recording just below. Hope you enjoy it.

Lytroo Retreat

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I Hear My Savior – Karen Pickering

I hear my Savior walking; His steps so close to mine.

Though I wander from His presence, He seeks my soul to find.

None other is so faithful as He who bore my shame.

Yet here I strive without Him and fail to speak His name.

I hear my Savior calling, His breath so close to mine.

“Come rest beneath my shadow. You should no longer pine”.

He woos and I still slight His voice for others hold more sway.

This mighty God so tender, He will not slip away.

I hear my Savior pleading, His voice so soft and low.

“I paid the awful ransom. How can you from me go?”

“Your life is lost without me. I only want to give.

This new life everlasting, so come to me and live.”

I turn to face Him fully this one who loves…

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