While Shepherds watch their flocks by night all seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around.
"Fear not," said he for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind;
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all man-kind!"
"To you in David's town this day is born of David's line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord, and this shall me the sign:
The heav'nly babe you there shall find to human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands and in a manger laid."
Thus spoke the seraph, and forth-with appeared a shinning throng
Of angels praising God who thus addressed their joyful song:
"All glory be to God on high and on the earth be peace.
Good will hence-forth from heav'n to men begin and never cease!"
The carol While Shepherds Watched dates back to 1703. The words for While shepherds watched were written by Nahum Tate, who was the Poet Laureate in the reign of Queen Anne, and Nicholas Brady. Only the Psalms of David were sung in the Anglican Church prior to that time. Tate and Brady were the first to paraphrase the psalms for singing in rhyme which then became distinctive of their work. The familiar melody used for While Shepherds Watched was taken from "Siroe," an opera by George Frederick Handel. On a lighter note children love to parody the words “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” and replacing them with “While Shepherds wash their socks by night!”