O little town of Bethlehem


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.

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

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him,
still the dear Christ enters in.

Where children pure and happy
pray to the blessed Child,
where misery cries out to thee,
Son of the Mother mild;
where charity stands watching
and faith holds wide the door,
the dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
and Christmas comes once more.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel!


Words: Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), 1868

MIDI: St. Louis (Lewis Henry Redner, 1830-1908)

Meter: 86 86 76 86

Hymnal, Year Number Tunes Other comments
Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861-1874      
The Anglican Hymn Book, 1868       
The Sarum Hymnal, 1869      
The Church Hymnal, 1871 (Hall & Whiteley)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Goodrich & Gilbert)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Hutchins)      
Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1874      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Standard, 1875-1924 642 Wengen  
A Church of England Hymn Book, 1879      
The Universal Hymn Book, 1885      
The Hymnal Companion, 1890      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Darlington) 058 St. Louis  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Parker) 058 Bethlehem  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Hutchins) 058 Bethlehem, St. Louis  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Tucker & Rousseau) 058 Bethlehem, Brooks  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Helfenstein) 058 Bethlehem, St. Louis  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Messiter) 058 Midsomer Norton  
The Yattendon Hymnal, 1900
     
Church Hymns, New Edition, 1903      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Edition, 1904      
The English Hymnal, 1906 015 Forest Green  
The Book of Common Praise, 1908 080 Bethlehem, St. Louis  
The Hymnal 1916 078 St. Louis  
Church Hymnal for the Christian Year, 1917 112 Bethlehem Ephratah  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1919 083 Forest Green  
Church Hymnal Revised, 1920
(Hutchins)
057 Bethlehem, St. Louis  
The Oxford Hymn Book, 1925      
Songs of Praise, 1925 053 Forest Green  
Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition, 1931 079 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
The Book of Common Praise, 1938 082 Forest Green, St. Louis  
The Hymnal 1940 021 Forest Green, St. Louis  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950 065 Forest Green, Wengen  
The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book, 1955 202 Forest Green  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1960 066 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Anglican Hymn Book, 1965 122 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
The Hymn Book 1971 421 Forest Green, St. Louis  
The Australian Hymn Book / With One Voice, 1977 240 Forest Green  
The Hymnal 1982 078, 079 Forest Green, St. Louis  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard, 1983 040 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
The New English Hymnal, 1985 032 Forest Green  
Hymns for Today's Church, second edition, 1988 088 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Church Family Worship, 1988 647 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Hymns Old & New, New Anglican Edition, 1996 377 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Common Praise (The Anglican Church of Canada), 1998 120, 121 St. Louis, Forest Green  
Together in Song: The Australian Hymn Book II, 1999 316 Forest Green  
Sing Glory, 1999 358 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Complete Mission Praise, 2000 503 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Common Praise: Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2000 063 Forest Green  
Hymns Old & New, Complete Anglican Edition, 2000 508 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 2000 174 Christmas Carol, Forest Green  

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.