O little town of Bethlehem

Representative Text

1 O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

2 For Christ is born of Mary
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wond'ring love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth.

3 How silently, how silently
the wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of His heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive Him still
the dear Christ enters in.


Source: Hymns to the Living God #114

Author: Phillips Brooks

Brooks, Phillips, D.D., was born at Boston, Dec. 13, 1835, graduated at Harvard College 1855, and was ordained in 1859. Successively Rector of the Church of the Advent, Philadelphia, and Trinity Church, Boston, he became Bishop of Mass. in 1891, and died at Boston in Jan., 1893. His Carol, "O little town of Bethlehem," was written for his Sunday School in 1868, the author having spent Christmas, 1866, at Bethlehem. His hymn, "God hath sent His angels to the earth again," is dated 1877. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O little town of Bethlehem
Author: Phillips Brooks (1868)
Meter: 7.6.8.6 D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

ST. LOUIS (Redner)


FOREST GREEN

FOREST GREEN is an English folk tune associated with the ballad "The Ploughboy's Dream." Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) turned FOREST GREEN into a hymn tune for The English Hymnal (1906), using it as a setting for "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Shaped in rounded bar form (AABA), FOREST GREEN has th…

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