Scripture Verse

Shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:18


Words: Ano­ny­mous, in The New Eng­land Sab­bath School Min­strel (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: New Eng­land Sab­bath School Un­ion, 1844), num­ber 93.

Music: Louvre, ar­ranged by Aar­on Coons, The New Song (New York: S. T. Gor­don & Son, 1875), pag­es 10–11 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Coons (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Shepherds keep­ing watch by night,
Saw around a glo­ri­ous light;
Heard an an­gel then pro­claim,
Christ is born in Beth­le­hem!


Ring the mer­ry songs to­day,
Sweetly chime Mes­si­ah’s morn;
Glad we hail this peace­ful way,
Christ the Lord for man is born!

Soon by ma­ny a heav’n­ly tongue
Glory be to God was sung,
Peace on earth, good will to men,
Christ is born in Beth­le­hem.


Joyful tid­ings to man­kind!
Richest grace they now may find;
Children, too, this grace may claim,
Christ is born in Beth­le­hem.


Oh! how great His grace and love,
Thus to leave His throne above;
Thus to bear our guilt and shame,
And be born in Beth­le­hem.


Lord! ac­cept our warm­est praise
For this con­des­cend­ing grace,
And our hearts with love in­flame,
For Thy birth in Beth­le­hem.


Shepherds Abiding in the Fields
Carl H. Bloch (1834–1890)