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O Little Town of Bethlehem

History of Christmas Carols


Title: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Author: In 1865, Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), an Episcopal clergyman, visited Bethlehem. His said visit to the town of Bethlehem inspired him to write a poem in 1867. A year later, Lewis Redner, Brooks' organist at Ho­ly Trin­i­ty Epis­co­pal Church in Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia, created the music which will later be known as the carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

Interesting Fact: The music for this Christmas carol is actually titled "St. Louis" by Lewis Henry Redner (1830-1908). It is believed that the carol was first sung by their Sunday School children's choir.

Lyrics (Excerpt):
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

Music Sheet: Free sheet music in PDF

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