Scripture Verse

There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8


Words: Will­is B. All­en, 1911.

Music: Bur­dett George A. Bur­dett, 1911 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of All­en or Bur­dett (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Origin of the Hymn

The great world was wea­ry, by Wil­lis Boyd Al­len, of Bos­ton, was wri­tten as a Christ­mas greet­ing to the au­thor’s mo­ther, and af­ter­ward a few cop­ies were dis­trib­ut­ed among her friends. It was first pub­lished in [the 1911 Me­tho­dist Sun­day School hym­nal]…Un­for­tu­nate­ly the au­thor’s phrase, But shep­herds abode with their flocks by night is mis­printed shephe­rds above.

Carl Fowl­er Price
The Chris­tian Adv­o­cate
No­vem­ber 28, 1912


The great world was weary and turned from the light;
The sinful were tired of sinning and slept;
But shepherds abode with their flocks by night,
And in the same country their faithful watch kept.

No welcome for strangers, for baby no room,
Save one little manger upon the cold ground,
As Mary and Joseph drew nigh through the gloom,
And in the same country a resting place found.

Above the dark hilltops there shone a bright star,
As Bethlehem woke to its first Christmas morn;
And songs of great joy filled the heavens afar,
For in the same country child Jesus was born.

O hearts that are heavy, O sad and forlorn,
O poor feet that falter and halt by the way,
Rejoice! Unto mankind a Savior is born—
This is the same country, ’tis Christmas today.