Folk song of the day: While Shepherds Watched

by Richard on December 7, 2010

While Shepherds Watch (Sweet Chiming Bells).

I know - it’s too early to be playing Christmas carols. But if you’re preparing a Christmas service, and looking for an alternative to the rather turgid Winchester Old, this tune would fit the bill nicely. It’s easy to pick up and sing, and the addition of the ‘chiming bells’ chorus is suitably jolly.

Update: Musicians might like to see the melody and some chords.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


David 12.07.10 at 10:44 am

It also goes to Lyngham… Much better…


Richard 12.07.10 at 11:53 am

I like Lyngham, but it isn’t easy to sing well when you get to the parts at the end of the verse.


John Cooper 12.07.10 at 12:27 pm

If you watch this weeks version of Songs of Praise you’ll see Kate Rusby talk about, and then sing, this Hymn…. Consider this a gift to you all so you can just click on iPlayer and fast forward rather than watch the whole thing…


fat prophet 12.07.10 at 8:56 pm

We sang this to ‘Ilkley Moor Bah tat’ in our Carol Praise event and it was very well received - Kate Rusby did a grand job on Sunday in Songs of Praise and the Salvation Army version of Sweet Chiming Bells is worth having a look at.
Came across some words last night I would like to use but can not find the tune - the words started with ‘No crowded Eastern street’ and the tune was called Heritage but couldn’t find it on t’inters.
Of course this hymn is Common Metere so there are lots of possibilities that is can be sung to and according to songs of praise there are 300 plus tunes that it can be sung to - could have a different one every year!

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