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I am a atheist but this Christian Christmas song still inspires me for some reason. Just when you think there is no hope you find that there may be some. Look for that morning star!

When sung in church often it would be divided into two parts one man, the watchman, stood with a lamp in the darkened church, the other, the weary traveller, made his way down the isle.

This song was adapted by the American composer Charles Ives for the prologue to his 4th symphony.

here are the lyrics used by Ives:

Watchman, tell us of the night,
what its signs of promise are:
Traveller, o'er yon mountain's height,
See that glory beaming star!
Watchman, aught of joy or hope?
Traveller, Yes! Traveller Yes!
Traveller yes; it brings the day,
Promised day of Israel.
Dost thou see its beauteous ray?
Traveller, See!



I feel like the traveller almost all of the time, where is my watchman?

Here is anther version of the lyrics by John Bowring from Hymns: As a Sequel to Matins, 1825. (there is some evidence that the song was an American folk hymn long before it was printed in this book, I don’t like this version as much):
Watchman, tell us of the night, what its signs of promise are.
Traveller, over yon mountain’s height, see that glory beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray aught of joy or hope foretell?
Traveller, yes—it brings the day, promised day of Israel.

Watchman, tell us of the night; higher yet that star ascends.
Traveller, blessedness and light, peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveller, ages are its own; see, it bursts over all the earth.

Watchman, tell us of the night, for the morning seems to dawn.
Traveller, darkness takes its flight, doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, let thy wanderings cease; hie thee to thy quiet home.
Traveller, lo! the Prince of Peace, lo! the Son of God is come!



sources
www.recmusic.org/lieder/b/bowring/watchman.html
www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/a/watchman.htm

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