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Pastores a Belen

(Lope de Vega)
(Translation by Antonio Carreno)

This Christmas carol was written in Spain in 1612 and is literally translated as “Shepherds of Bethlehem”.  The song described the shepherds going to the stable to see the baby Jesus and lying down to pay tribute to him. In the Philippines they have had a traditional Christmas festival where they made a re-enactment of the shepherd singing the first Christmas song at the Nativity scene and the people who took part in the festival were colourfully dressed and danced and sang to “Pastores a Belen”.  This remains one of the most popular carols sung in Spain and has been used by Leroy Anderson in his Suite of Carols for String Orchestra.

Leroy Anderson and His Orchestra recordings
Decca B0003552-02 (CD: A Leroy Anderson Christmas)