O Little Town of Bethlehem
Words by Phillips Brooks
Music by Lewis H. Redner
Phillips Brooks, one of 19th-century America’s best-loved preachers, was ministering to a Philadelphia church when he wrote his now-famous verses at Christmastime in 1868. He had journeyed to the Holy Land three years earlier, and the memory was, he said, “still singing in my soul.” His organist, Lewis Redner, who was professionally a highly successful real-estate broker and on Sundays a leader in the Sunday school, set Brooks’ words to music for the church’s children’s choir, and “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was subsequently taken up by the rest of the world. Click here to listen to 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 gather’d 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.
Copyright (c) 1944, renewed 1972 by Leo Feist, Inc.