A Shepherd's Tale
SATB chorus with descant, treble solo, children’s choir, organ, optional trumpet and timpani
performance time approx 4m 30s
Range S & children: c' – f'' / A: b♭ – c'' / T: c – g' / B: F – c'
See a perusal copy (PDF format) of the music
This copy is not licensed for rehearsal, performance or recording.
Hear a MIDI
rendering of A Shepherd's Tale
Here is a charming narrative Christmas anthem that will suit combined church or school choirs who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary. A pastoral theme in 6/8 (with sections in 3/4) opens the piece on a hillside near Bethlehem. The middle section has more of a recitative character, the chorus commenting in bursts on the appearance of the angels. The third section builds on a settled and happy melody in 4/4, describing the scene at the stable. A short coda brings back the opening theme and returns the focus to the shepherds.
A Shepherd's Tale was written for the combined choirs of Dumpton School, Wimborne, Dorset, using a text written by the Head of English, Mandy Anson. It was first performed by around 150 voices in December 2006, in Wimborne Minster, under the direction of Julie Bowerman, Director of Music, Dumpton School.
On Bethlehem’s hills, a shepherd boy
Kept a dark and lonely vigil;
As elder shepherds slept ‘neath stars,
He braved the desert noises.
And so it was, on that dark night,
The boy first saw the brilliance
Of a swift-approaching angel host,
And heard their golden voices.
He turned his face up to the light;
His eyes were filled with stardust.
He heard the message that they brought
And knelt before their glory.
Then shepherds all awoke and stared,
They scarce believed his story;
A babe was born to save their souls
And deliver them from darkness.
What babe was this? Whence came his power,
But from a heavenly father?
The shepherds knelt in joyful praise,
‘Til the angel voices left them.
Then shepherds all, with little thought,
Left care of flock behind them,
And turned their steps to Bethlehem,
Where a light shone in the darkness.
And in a lowly stable there,
A mother rocked her first-born;
A son of God, a child of man,
A saviour of all mankind.
There in the hay, amongst the beasts,
The golden child was lying.
The shepherds brought a gift of love;
A lamb for this blessèd shepherd.
The shepherd boy has long since grown,
And knows the angels’ promise
Was kept upon another hill.
But from that dark, a light burst through,
And mankind knelt in wonder;
The shepherds stood upon the earth,
But felt the touch of heaven.
words © Mandy Anson and used with permission
Purchase – 4026: A Shepherd's Tale
The price depends on the number of singers in your group.
This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you
need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print
- for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.
Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.
Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple
credit or debit card if you don't have a Paypal account.
Your Paypal transaction will be in
sterling and it will be converted automatically if
your credit card draws on a different currency.
Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.
If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros,
then please e-mail
your order to us instead of using the form below.
Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not
instantly, because each PDF file is created specially
for the purchaser.
Canasg sells sheet music for choirs …
… in PDF format, delivered by e-mail, with a licence to print as many
copies, and as often, as you like. The copies are for the exclusive use
of one ensemble, and the licence doesn't let you give, lend, hire or sell
them to anybody else. Please read the detail before
Canít see the music samples?
Some web browsers display a very odd presentation of our PDF samples, so that they donít look like music at all. The browser will generally show a small-print warning like “This PDF document might not be displayed correctly”, and offer an “Open with different viewer” button. You can click that to get the PDF file displayed through Adobe Reader (or some equivalent). Then youíll see the music as it should be, and as a printer will produce it.
Our music …
… is mostly by living composers writing in diverse contemporary styles. To explore our whole catalogue, or any of its sections, use the "catalog" link at the top left of this page.
Copying permitted (terms and conditions apply!)
When you buy from us, you can make as many copies as
you need of the music, and as often as you need - so you can replace lost
or worn copies.
Free perusal copies
You can download
a sample PDF from this site, and make a printed copy for your own use. It
will be overprinted “sample”. It isn't licensed for rehearsal
We do not charge a price per copy. You pay according
to the size of your group.
Keep in touch
You can bookmark this page to help you find it again. For new releases, seasonal suggestions, and other news, we invite you
to opt in to our occasional mailing list. Opting out is easy, whenever you want to.
"Liking" Canasg on Facebook is another way to get updates.
You can e-mail us via the link at the foot of this page. We're always interested in your suggestions and your experience with using this web site.