O little town of Bethlehem (Traditional)

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  • CPDL #7061 and #7062: Network.png PDF and MIDI files available.
Editor: Edward L. Stauff (added 2004-05-20).   Score information: Letter, 1 pages, kbytes   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: "Forest Green" and "St. Louis" tunes available in two separate scores.
  • CPDL #621: Icon_pdf.gif .
Editor: Rafael Ornes (added 1999-12-07).   Score information: 20 kbytes   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: tune: "Forest Green"

General Information

Title: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Composer: Traditional

Number of voices: 4vv  Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred, Carol
Language: English
Instruments: none, a cappella

Description: For obvious reasons, the final verse is traditionally only sung on Christmas Day.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


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.


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


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.


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.