“Rise Up, Shepherd”


"There's a star in the east on Christmas morn, Rise up, Shepherd, and follow." The shepherd is advised to "Leave your sheep and leave your lambs" and follow the star to where Jesus is


Although everything mentioned here comes from the Gospels, there is no evidence that the shepherds behaved as described. The star is mentioned only in Matthew (2:2, 9-10), and it seems to have been visible only to the Magi ("Wise Men") -- at least, Herod and his advisors couldn't tell which star it was.

The shepherds who see Jesus, on the other hand, are found only in Luke (2:8-20). They are not guided by the star, but given explicit directions by an angel. - RBW


  • Pete Seeger, "Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow" (on PeteSeeger37, PeteSeeger42)


  1. Lomax-FSNA 253, "Rise Up, Shepherd" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 373, "Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow" (1 text)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Ian Bradley, _The Penguin Book of Carols_ (1999), #85, "There's a Star in the East" (1 text)
  4. Roud #15289
  5. BI, LoF253


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1867 (Allen/Ware/Garrison)
Found in: US