A Sunday Song – All Through the Night

Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night;
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
I my loved ones’ watch am keeping,
All through the night.

Angels watching, e’er around thee,
All through the night
Midnight slumber close surround thee,
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping
I my loved ones’ watch am keeping,
All through the night

While the moon her watch is keeping,
All through the night
While the weary world is sleeping,
All through the night
O’er thy spirit gently stealing,
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling,
All through the night.

Sleeping has always been a challenge instead of a respite for me. Even as a child, I was given to sad or frightening dreams. Added to that, for the past 10 years, I’ve been on a med for RLS that carries nightmares as it’s primary side effect.

I was trying to choose this Sunday’s song on Friday when I received an email from a friend whose daughter has a really rough time sleeping and often wakes up frightened. This Sunday song is a Lullaby for Aubrey and all for whom sleep is anything but peaceful.

Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

24 thoughts on “A Sunday Song – All Through the Night”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Debbie

    The video wouldn’t play for me but I can just imagine 🙂

    I remember a song called “all through the night” from way back when. It had a verse that said:
    “Silver stars their light bestowing
    All through the night
    They the path to heaven are showing
    All through the night
    As they tread their path of duty
    Show they to the world the beauty
    Of the peace of heav’n so truly
    All through the night.”

    Do you know if it is the same song? Couldn’t find it online anywhere 😦

    Many thanks,

    1. You’re not alone in that memory Ann. I seem to remember singing that verse in primary school (Sydney, Australia in the 50s – (1950s). Also a vague memory of those words being used in a quiet scene in a film – I think North West Passage starring Spencer Tracy – also from the 1950s. Sadly no-one has it fully up on Youtube so I can’t check. I have in fact had those words in my head since I can remember. A big mystery. WE’ll solve it one day.
      Sleep well.

      David K

    2. We sang that version at primary school, eons ago. I couldn’t find it online either. It’s sung to the tune of Ar Hyd Y Nos (Welsh lyrics in 18thC by John Ceiriog Hughes – Holl amrant au’r ser ddywedant, ar hyd y nos”).

      John Hywel had a fresh translation written for his book of Welsh Songs in 1987 by John Gwilym Jones of Bangor (“When the eyes of starlight glisten”).

      The American version is the best known but not considered the most accurate (sleep my babe).

      But the words we sang at school were:

      Silver stars their light bestowing
      All through the night.
      They the path to heav’n are showing
      All through the night.
      As they tread theirs paths of duty
      Show they to the world the beauty
      Of the peace of heav’n so truly
      All through the night.

      Like a smile does each star glisten,
      All through the night.
      To illume her earthly sister,
      All through the night.
      Old age has its height of sickness
      But to beautify our weakness
      Shed your light abroad in meekness,
      All through the night.

      Holl am-rant au’r sêr ddy-we-dant
      Ar hyd y nos
      “Dym-a’r ffordd i fro go-gon-iant”
      Ar hyd y nos
      Gol-au ar-all yw ty-wy-llwh
      I ar-ddang-os gwir bryd-ferth-wch
      Teu-lu’r ne-foedd mewn taw-el-wch
      Ar hyd y nos

      O mor siriol gwena seren,
      Ar hyd y nos.
      I oleuo’i chwaer-ddaearen,
      Ar hyd y nos.
      Nos yw henaint pan ddaw cystudd,
      Ond i harddu dyn a’i hwyrddydd,
      Rhown ein golau gwan i’n gilydd,
      Ar hyd y nos.
      John Ceiriog Hughes (1832-1887)

    3. p.s. I should have added – you’ll soon find many versions, e.g. Bryn Terfel, on you-tube if you look up the tune-name, i.e. the Welsh for “all through the night” – Ar Hyd y Nos. Aled Jones recorded it, I’ll bet Katherine Jenkins has too. Came across another site with the guitar chords from the Peter, Paul and Mary version (and more verses, but the trad. American lullaby lyrics.)
      I suspect, from another comment here and no one I know in Europe seeming familiar with the “silver stars their light bestowing” version, that it’s an NZ/Oz variant!

  2. This song has been a gift, from Day One, whenever that day was. Imagine being the person who wrote it–the grand feeling of satisfaction coming from knowing how good it would be!
    I have slept in the same twin bed with my ten-year-old night-terrors guy. He was not shy about it, either; he was terrified. Thanked me every morning.
    Love being a mom. Moms rule, you know . . .

    1. dear katharine – I just spent an entire day with my son (who’s 29 now) and whom I hadn’t seen in 21/2 years. It was such a privilege. Being his Mom (and my daughter’s Mom) has been, far and beyond, the greatest joy of my life.
      No one should suffer night terrors alone. God bless you and Debbie and Jen for the gentle comfort you bring to your children.
      ~ Debbie

  3. This resonates. I am SO sorry you have a nightmare side effect! So awful! Do you have the pre bedtime jitters? I HATE that.

    I had nightmares as a kid, night terrors actually and my mom always said it was the pickles or the saurkraut. Don’t think so. My son is going through an especially tough PTSD time right now and nightmares are part of its currency. I am sleeping on his floor and walk at the first sound of trouble. I can whisper him out of it and FINALLY he has had a few nights sleep through the night! I will tonight switch it up and sing this lullaby.

    I will sing it to myself too.

    Thank you and TAKE CARE!

    Sweet Dreams!


    1. Dear Jen . . .hugs to you and your son. What a precious momma you are. And, you blessed me when you said you sleep on his floor. I do that too, but it has always been seen as a bad thing that I do. Thank you for affirming that it is just a mom thing that I do. 🙂

      1. OH I hear you! We did the family bed when he was little and got all kinds of grief. “attachment Parenting” it is called, right? Just seems like being a good mom to me. Other cultures don’t name it. If my Kiddo is Freaking out with PTSD and is having nightmares and I can easily help him through it, then by golly, I am going to do that. duh.

        I am SO glad you are out there too! We Mamas gotta stick together!

        Peace, Jen

    2. Dearest Jen and Deb – How wonderful that you two have found each other. Two wonderful women with a fierce love for their child. I’ll continue to carry the four of you in my heart and prayers. You inspire me.
      much love,
      ~ Debbie

  4. Oh gracious one . . .Caddo’s right. There are tears, but ones of gratefulness. And guess what? Aubrey is sleeping right now (it’s afternoon time) but when she wakes up, I’m playing this for her! 🙂 And praying for you, those same angels, to watch over you, to let you rest, to shoo away the nightmares that needed medication can bring, to give you always peace and love. God bless you and your heart of ministry for us all, under wings of grace! love you! – the other deb and miss aubrey

    1. Gracious Debbie, I wished you could’ve seen Aub’s face . . .so warm and smiling and touched by this lullaby. She said it just made her happy. Thank you for your blessings that distance and intermittent internet cannot stop getting to us! love you!

  5. Sweet Earth Angel! You rock fur shur. Sleep well, and wake refreshed always. What a beautiful song. I feel rejuvenated reading these loving lyrics.

    So dreadfully sorry for you nightmares though. Awful! You probably never want to go to sleep regardless of the inability to sleep. Nasty Catch 22. Wishing you a day of peace. xoxo melis

    1. dear melis – I put off going to bed as long as possible. My dreams have been more odd than nightmarish of late. That’s been nice. 😀
      I’m very blessed that my waking hours are peaceful. Dreams fade, but real experiences are harder to escape.The scariest dreams are the real ones.
      ~ Debbie

    1. Dear Linda – It’s such a lovely lullaby, isn’t it? Hopefully, all who read this will pray for Deb and Aubrey and Jen and her son. That will help, I’m certain.
      Blessings to you, my friend,
      ~ Debbie

  6. Oh Sis!! This has always been a fave of mine! I can’t sing a lick, but I’d sing it anyway and get goose bumps–so, so beautiful–and how nice for you to “dedicate” it to our niece, angel Aub!! You’ll have Deb crying for sure. I am so sorry that you suffer nightmares as part of your meds–I will pray about that, starting tonight. I used to be plagued by them, but it’s gotten a LOT better (I did dream I was pregnant the other night–but it was more absurd, than horrifying!).

    And I love the sweet picture of you and the babe! Now that I’ve subscribed to both your blogs, I don’t have to “remember” to come here–I get those nice reminders, yippee!! Love to you (sleep Well), your Caddo sis

    1. Hello dear Caddo!
      I sleep with ear plugs because I sleep during the day and am an inordinately light sleeper. I’m not sure which is worse, the bad dreams or waking up chewing on an ear plug, thinking it’s gum. :p
      That sleeping baby is now in kindergarten. It seems like yesterday and forever ago.
      Although I threw in the part about my dreams, this really was a post for Aubrey and Deb and for Jen and her son. I often pray this for them, all through the night.
      love to you, kind sis
      ~ Debbie

      1. “Light sleeping” is a curse, I know–but earplugs, eye masks, all those “helps” just make me crazy so I can’t sleep anyhow.

        I’d sure like to “borrow” your line for a poem: “seems like yesterday and forever ago”…think you’d mind much, if I link back to you or credit you however you’d like? It just “burns” for one of my semi-mournful love poems! Let me know–or if I write it, I’ll send to you first for “green-lighting”!

        Bless all the angels and their mamas–and you, my much-love sister, Bless you Big!

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