While shepherds watched their flocks by night

While shepherds watched their flocks by night. Nahum Tate* (ca. 1652- 1715). This famous Christmas hymn was first published in the Supplement (1700) to A New Version of the Psalms of David [New Version, Supplement] by Tate and Nicholas Brady*. Although the part played in the book by each of these authors is not clear (see ‘New Version’*), this hymn is normally attributed to Tate. In some editions it was entitled ‘Song of the Angels at the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour’. The principal alteration, adopted by almost all books, is in verse 5 line 3, ‘Of Angels praising God, who thus’ from the original ‘and thus’. Its clarity, simplicity, and ease of singing are characteristic of both Tate...

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