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While By The Sheep (Als Ich bei meiner Schafen wacht)

(Traditional/Nach Friedrich von Spee/Hugo Jungst/Theodore Baker)

Also known as “How Great Our Joy” and “The Echo Carol” this traditional German carol from the 16th century has been thought to perhaps come from a shepherd’s play that may have had an echo emanating from off-stage.  Several versions have been made and Nach Friedrich von Spee added words to it in 1625.

The English version, which is also known as “Echo Carol” includes an echoing device put in by the American translator of the carol, Theodore Baker, and the melody was taken by Hugo Jungst at the turn of the 20th century and given a further musical arrangement. The 20th century American composer, Leroy Anderson, used this carol as the first tune used in his Suite of Carols for Brass Choir .

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

Here it is performed by the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers…