1. In Bethlem town the Christ was born.
They laid him down that starlit mor-ee-orn
Amidst the corn, in swaddling gown
Unbleached and worn, with hay his crown.
Too-loo-ree-loo: 'twas Christmas Day.
2. On hills nearby, poor shepherds graze
Their flocks. The sky explodes in prai-ee-aise,
With angels' lays to God on high:
"Fear not, this day salvation's nigh!
Good will to you, and peace on earth!"
3. The shepherds then of one accord
To Bethlem ran to greet the Lor-ee-ord.
They found him sleeping in a trough,
Convolved in cheap, unwhitened cloth.
They knelt and prayed as Mary watched.
4. From Persia far, wise Parsees came,
Led by his star, to praise his name-ee-ame.
They brought presents of gold and myrrh
And frankincense--and beaver fur,
Then went home sur-reptitiously.
5. King Herod had bequestioned them,
With motive bad, about Bethlem-ee-em.
The crafty sages Herod left
In royal rage, of facts bereft--
So Herod killed the Innocents.
6. God said to Joseph and his wife:
To Egypt go, to save your li-ee-ife.
Thine ancient namesake as a slave
To Egypt came your folk to save.
A sim'lar task awaits your son.
7. Good people all, consider ye,
Whom God hath called to liberty-I-ee--
Consider well the awful cost
The Scriptures tell in children lost;
Consider now the ransoms paid.
8. God's peace to you; now merry be,
For 'tis all true, of verity-I-ee.
The baby born, ye know it well,
That holy morn, hath vanquished Hell,
Upon the cross, and we are free!
|First Line:||In Bethlem town the Christ was born|
|Title:||In Bethlem Town|
|Author:||Leland Bryant Ross (1997)|
|Topic:||Christmas; Feast of the Holy Innocents|
|Source:||Traditional US tune, anonymous, 18th century|
|Notes:||Also called THE PESKY SARPENT.|
|MIDI file:||Springfield Mountain|