The 12 Days of Christmas Songs: 7. The First Noel
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid." Luke 2:8-9
The First Noel is a classic English carol from the 18th century, if not earlier. In French, the word Noel means Christmas. In Latin, it translates as birthday. Its current form was first published in 1823. The current arrangement is credited to composer John Stainer in 1871.