Blog Caroling: O, Little Town of Bethlehem

Like many creative things in our Geneablogosphere, blog caroling owes its origin to the irrepressible footnoteMaven. Since I blogged earlier this month at the Catholic Gene [here] that my favorite Christmas Carol is O Holy Night, this evening here I’ll blog carol my second favorite Christmas song, with the mandatory Nat King Cole rendition.

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.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel!

Words by Phillips Brooks (1835-1903); music by Lewis Redner (1831-1908). Brooks reportedly wrote the words on his return to Philadelphia after a trip to the holy land, where he was awed by the nocturnal sight of the town from the nearby hills.

Craig

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