1 In the little village of Bethlehem,
There lay a Child one day,
And the sky was bright with a holy light
O'er the place where Jesus lay.
Alleluia! O how the angels sang.
Alleluia! How it rang!
And the sky was bright with a holy light,
'Twas the birthday of a King.
2 'Twas a humble birth-place, but O how much
God gave to us that day,
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect, holy way. [Refrain]
Baptist Hymnal, 1991
|First Line:||In the little village of Bethlehem|
|Title:||The Birthday of a King|
|Author:||William Harold Neidlinger|
|Meter:||22.214.171.124 D with refrain|
|Refrain First Line:||Alleluia, O how the angels sang|
|Liturgical Use:||Scripture Songs|
William Harold Neidlinger wrote this text circa 1890. It was published in a pamphlet by G. Schirmer. There are two stanzas and a refrain. In each stanza is a contrast between the insignificance of Bethlehem and the importance of the Christ child who was born there. The refrain is a burst of joy over the spectacular picture of a host of angels – a fitting welcome for a King.
The tune, NEIDLINGER, was written with the text, and appeared with it in the Schirmer pamphlet, where it was published for baritone and piano. The tune is designed for solo performance rather than congregational singing, with a range of a twelfth, and frequent melodic leaps.
This song is obviously best suited to Christmas. Because of the soloistic nature of the tune, it is probably best to avoid using it for congregational singing. A choral arrangement would be a better choice, such as “The Birthday of a King,” with a soloist on the second stanza. The handbell setting in “Let Our Carols Fill the Sky!” closely follows the arrangement in the original publication of this song, including the melodic motifs in the introduction.
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org
|Instances (1 - 10 of 10)||Title||First Line||Tune||Tune Key||Author||Meter||Scripture||Date||Subject||Source|
|Baptist Hymnal 1991 #102||The Birthday of a King||In a little village of Bethlehem||NIEDLINGER||William Harold Neidlinger||Irregular||Jeremiah 23:5||1991|
|Baptist Hymnal 2008 #191||The Birthday of a King||In the little village of Bethlehem||NEIDLINGER||William Harold Neidlinger||Irregular meter||2008||Jesus, Birth ||
|Rejoice Hymns #191||The Birthday of a King||In the little village of Bethlehem||NEIDLINGER||William Harold Neidlinger, 1863-1924||Irregular||Luke 1:14||2011||Christmas | ; Jesus | Kingship and Reign|
|Sing Joyfully #212||The Birthday of a King||In the little village of Bethlehem||[In the little village of Bethlehem]||William Harold Neidlinger||1989|
|The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #284||The Birthday of a King||In a little village of Bethlehem||NEIDLINGER||William Harold Neidlinger||10.6.10.7. with Refrain||1997||Christ | Birth|
|The Christian Life Hymnal #136||Alleluia! O how the angels sang||In the little village of Bethlehem||Neidlinger||2006|
|The Cyber Hymnal #527||The Birthday of a King||In the little village of Bethlehem||[In the little village of Bethlehem]||William Harold Neidlinger|
|The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #162||The Birthday of a King||In the little village of Bethlehem||NEIDLINGER||William Harold Neidlinger||10.6.10.7. with Refrain||1986||Christ | Lordship; Jesus Our Savior : His Birth ||
|Worship and Rejoice #224||The Birthday of a King||In the little village of Bethlehem||[In the little village of Bethlehem]||William Harold Neidlinger, 1900-||Matthew 2:9; Luke 2:13-14||2008|
|찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship: the Korean-English Presbyterian hymnal and service book #162||베 들 레 헴 작 은 그 마 을 (In the Little Village of Bethlehem)||베 들 레 헴 작 은 그 마 을 (In the little village of Bethlehem)||NEIDLINGER||William Harold Neidlinger||Irr.||Jeremiah 23:5||2001||Christian Year | Advent; Christian Year | Christmas; Christian Year | Epiphany; Jesus Christ | Incarnation; 교회 년 | 강림 절; 교회 년 | 성탄절; 교회 년 | 교회 년; 성육신 |||Korean trans. The United Methodist Korean Hymnal Committee|