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There burns a star o'er Bethlehem town

There burns a star o'er Bethlehem town

Author: Eugene Field
Tune: PENIEL (Booth)
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 There burns a star o’er Bethlehem town,
And gloriously it beameth down
Upon a virgin mother meek,
And Him whom solemn Magi seek.
Burn on, O star! and be the light
To guide us all to Him this night!

2 The angels walk in Bethlehem town—
The angels come and bring a crown
To Him, our Savior and our king,
And sweetly all this night they sing.
Sing on in rapture, angel throng!
That we may learn that heavenly song!

3 Near Bethlehem town there blooms a tree,
And it shall stand on Calvary!
But from the shade thereof we turn
Unto the star that still shall burn,
When Christ is dead and ris’n again,
To mind us that He died for men.

4 There is a cry in Bethlehem town!
’Tis of the Babe that wears the crown.
It telleth us that man is free—
That He redeemeth all and me!
The night is sped—behold the morn!
Sing, O my soul, the Christ is born!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #12352

Author: Eugene Field

Field, Eugene, an American journalist who has written somewhat extensively for children, was born at St. Louis, Missouri, Sep. 2, 1850, educated at the University of Missouri, and died Nov. 4, 1895. His published works include Little Book of Western Verse, 1889; Second Book of Verse, 1891; and Love Songs of Childhood, 1894. A limited number of his hymns are in common use in America, and specimens of his verse are given in Horder's Treasury of American Sacred Song, 1900, pp. 283-287. See also "There burns a star o'er Bethlehem town." --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: There burns a star o'er Bethlehem town
Author: Eugene Field
Copyright: Public Domain


There burns a star o'er Bethlehem town. E. Field. [Christmas.] The history of this hymn is set forth in the following letter from Dr. Stryker to the Rev. Dr. Benson of Philadelphia in answer to an enquiry respecting it:—

The hymn was given me in 1889 in autograph by Eugene Field, whom in Chicago I knew well. He wrote it a little before Christmas. Probably it appeared in the Chicago News, in the 'Sharps and Flats' column. I know that he expanded it into the verse you name. As it is in my book it is unmodified by a word from the copy given to me. I seized it at once for a hymn. Clinton, N.Y,, Oct. 1905."

This original text is No. 73, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, in Dr. Stryker's College Hymnal, N.Y., 1897. The expanded text is, "As I was going to Bethlem-town." [Rev. L. F. Benson, D.D.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #12352
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #12352

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
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