Wednesday, 19 December 2018

While Shepherds Watched (Cranbrook)

Some people will say that's "On Ilkley Moor bah’t ‘at", and indeed, that song is sung to this same tune. But the tune existed for many years before that song came along. The tune was written by Thomas Clark in 1805, and named after the village he lived in, Cranbrook, in Kent. He wrote it for While Shepherds Watched to be sung to, and it was popular across much of the country within a few years. The tune that most people sing these words to now, "Winchester Old", only took its place when it was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861, becoming the official church-approved melody.
So here's how it used to be...


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