The Babe of Bethlehem (William Walker)

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  • (Posted 2018-06-22)  CPDL #50266:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2018-06-22).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 48 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Notes in four-shape format, as originally published in 1835. Alto part written by B. C. Johnston, 2018. All eight stanzas included.

General Information

Title: The Babe of Bethlehem
First Line: Ye nations all, on you I call
Composer: William Walker
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 87. 87. D

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1835 in Southern Harmony, p. 78, for three voices: Treble-Tenor-Bass
Description: Words by an unknown author, first appearing in Southern Harmony, 1835, with eight stanzas.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. Ye nations all, on you I call,
Come hear this declaration,
And don’t refuse this glorious news
Of Jesus and salvation.
To royal Jews came first the news
Of Christ the great Messiah,
As was foretold by prophets old,
Isaiah, Jeremiah.

2. To Abraham the promise came,
And to his seed for ever,
A light to shine in Isaac's line,
By scripture we discover;
Hail, promised morn! the Savior’s born,
The glorious Mediator,
God's blessed Word made flesh and blood,
Assumed the human nature.

3. His parents poor in earthly store,
To entertain the stranger
They found no bed to lay his head,
But in the ox’s manger;
No royal things, as used by kings,
were seen by those that found him,
But in the hay the stranger lay,
With swaddling bands around him.


4. On the same night a glorious light
To shepherds there appeared,
Bright angels came in shining flame,
They saw and greatly feared;
The angels said, Be not afraid,
Although we much alarm you.
We do appear good news to bear,
As now we will inform you.

5. The city’s name is Bethlehem,
In which God hath appointed,
This glorious morn a Savior’s born,
For him God hath anointed ;
By this you’ll know, if you will go,
To see this little stranger.
His lovely charms in Mary’s arms,
Both lying in a manger.

6. When this was said, straightway was made
A glorious sound from heaven,
Each flaming tongue an anthem sung,
To men a Savior's given,
In Jesus’ name, the glorious theme.
We elevate our voices,
At Jesus’ birth be peace on earth,
Meanwhile all heaven rejoices.


7. Then with delight they took their flight,
And winged their way to glory.
The shepherds gazed and were amazed,
To hear the pleasing story .
To Bethlehem they quickly came,
The glorious news to carry,
And in the stall they found them all,
Joseph, the Babe, and Mary.

8. The shepherds then returned again,
To their own habitation,
With joy of heart they did depart,
Now they have found salvation.
Glory, they cry, to God on high,
Who sent his Son to save us:
This glorious morn the Savior's born,
His name it is Christ Jesus.