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Lyrics and Information

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Words by Phillips Brooks, 1867
Tune: FOREST GREEN, arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), 1906
Key signature: F major (1 flat)
Time signature: 4/4
Public Domain
Organ Performance at Hymns Without Words
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.
4. 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!
Additional stanza not included in the sheet music:
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.