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Born is the Light of the World

“…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12, KJV

About the Song

Here’s an example of something I love to do. It was Christmas time, and I was looking at a beautiful painting of the Christ Child and His mother. (Since I’m writing this some years later, I don’t remember which one!) The artist used light to surround Jesus’ head, and to illuminate Mary’s face beautifully, and as I focused on the areas of light, I began to simply describe the painting in this lyric. Thus, the “starlight of silver,” the “halo of gold,” and the radiance of the Baby shining on the face of His mother.

The obbligato for the original version was written for the Solo. It will also work with the SATB anthem version, but the measure numbers won’t be the same, since the obbligato doesn’t use a DS and Coda. Just keep that in mind as you practice, and you should be fine.

For years I wanted a solo version with a gentler accompaniment, and in 2020 I finally got around to writing one. The harmony used in the recording is included on a separate score.

Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)


Born Is the Light of the World (feat. James Loynes)
Born Is the Light of the World (Piano Track)

Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Recording featuring vocals by James Loynes:

Piano track:

Apple Music, Amazon

These files may be copied/shared in any quantity in any physical format unless otherwise noted. They may not be re-sold or offered for download.

Apple Music: Born is the Light of the World (feat. James Loynes)
Apple Music: Born is the Light of the World (Piano Track)

Amazon: Born is the Light of the World (feat. James Loynes)
Amazon: Born is the Light of the World (Accompaniment Track)


  (Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)


Beautiful child all aglow in the candlelight
See how he sleeps in a poor manger bed
Beautiful child! How the heavens adorn him
Starlight of silver
And halo of gold ’round his head

Gloria! Gloria!
Angels on high are singing all, “Gloria!”
Let earth in reply sing “Gloria!
Gloria in excelsis deo!”
In the dark of the night
Born is the Light of the world

Beautiful child in the arms of his mother
Come see how his radiance shines in her face
Beautiful child who dispels all our darkness
Bright in his glory
Alight with the Father’s own grace

(Repeat chorus)

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Erica L. Van Katwyk

    Sally, Once again I used your music for our Christmas Sacrament Meeting presentation. Another beauty. Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us.

  2. Herma van de Coterlet

    What a beautiful song! Is there also a lead sheet with chord symbols available? Thank you very much!!

  3. MC

    Sang this song as a youth choir more than 15 years ago and was so happy to find it again. I’ve never forgotten it and it is a special memory.

  4. Heather Nielsen

    In saw someone comment about playing this song on the guitar. Does someone have the guitar chords available to share?

  5. Heather Nielsen

    It’s the original piano track for this song still available?

  6. Brenda Martinez

    I love this beautiful song!! It brings the spirit of love to those that sing it and hear it. Thank you!!

  7. john heer

    Love it on guitar. Played it in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday

  8. Ashley Kazimer

    Lovely! Is there a low female arrangement available? I would love to be able to use the .pc version and make it myself, but dang MAC user over here!

  9. Patti Jones

    Thank you for this beautiful song. I love it so much!

  10. Eniola

    Please I need the audio of born is the light of the world

  11. Judd Shafer

    Merry Christmas to you. You have brought so much joy to our family and choirs over the years. Just heard. You have been the go to source for any thing special.!! Judd and Janis Shafer

  12. Brittany

    I want the original accompaniment track. It was here yesterday but not today!!

  13. Erika Bestor

    Hi Sally!
    Could you, by chance, tell me which female soloist is the low voice? I love singing your songs, and I’m a low voice, so I’d like to know which songs I can choose from that are that range. Thank you!

    • Sally DeFord

      Alyse and Jacosa are altos, James is a baritone (though with quite a bit of range}. There are quite a few others… but I can’t remember all of their ranges. 🙂

  14. Rebecca Rollins

    Thank you for the Hymn version of this song! It is so beautiful sung a cappella. Try it everyone!

  15. Jon

    This is one my all time favorite carol songs. Can I get a solfa edition? My email is *******@gmail.com

  16. William

    Hello Sally,

    Be assured that I always admire your work. Your compositions have blessed so much people by touching their hearts and spirit. May God bless you so much

    Greetings from the Philippines!

    • Cheche

      God bless you more, Sally! -From an SDA friend.

  17. Francis Raymond Sabo

    when was this song composed? thanks

  18. john

    Mrs Sally, would it be possible to get a version of SATB on individual recording? I want my choir to perform it this xmas

  19. Stacy

    You used to have a girl singing this on your old website in the archives. I can’t remember her name but she was an alto. That was my favorite version. Do you still have that available that I can listen to or download? It’s nice to hear a girl singing it too, not just a guy, or a group.

    • sallydeford

      Many of the older MP3 tracks were hosted on a service I no longer use. Most of them will be re-added as I have the time to do it. It should re-appear at some point. 🙂

      • Stacy

        Oh thank you so much! I love your music! 🙂

      • Dana Price

        Oh yes, please do add that version back! I loved it so much.

      • Erin

        Would love to have the chamber choir professional version that sang the anthem back on here too!!

  20. Amber

    I adapted the existing Spanish translation to make it rhyme and work better metrically.

    Hermoso niño, dormido en pesebre
    Velas y astros su ser alumbran
    Hermoso niño, los cielos lo adornan
    Prestan su brilla:
    Las estrellas lo rodean.

    Gloria! Gloria!
    Todos los angeles cantan, Gloria!
    En la tierra cantan Gloria
    Gloria en lo alto
    En la tierra de paz,
    La luz del mundo nació.

    Hermoso niño, en brazos de su madre,
    Vean como disipa la oscuridad.
    Hermoso niño, el Hijo Amado
    Brilla en su gloria,
    El lustre de divinidad.

  21. Joni

    Thank you for this beautiful song! I have given it to voice students of mine for Christmas for several years. What a great message, and beautiful music.

  22. Ray Eames

    Our Choir has sung your music. We are incredible appreciative of your generosity in blessing our Ward Family. Jill

  23. Lily Barrera

    I love the songs and the arrangements of this site! Me, my sisters and my ward choir have sang this one for christmas and a lot of other songs too in Spanish of course because we are in Chile. I have got a suggestion for the translation of these lyrics. Where can I posted to you? It has worked very good with the original rhythm and accents of the song.

    • Amber

      I would love to know your Spanish translation of this song! Our stake choir is planning on singing it.

      • Lily Barrera


        Niño hermoso, destello_en la_oscuridad
        vedlo_en humilde establo dormir
        niño hermoso, los cielos lo_adornan
        astros de oro y plata alumbran su faz

        Gloria!, gloria! ángeles en lo alto dan gloria!
        en la tierra canten gloria! gloria! a Dios en lo alto
        En la noche de paz, la luz del mundo nació

        Niño hermoso, su madre lo_acuna
        ved como su rostro irradia la luz
        niño hermoso, disipas las sombras
        brilla Su gloria, la luz del pequeño Jesús

        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

        Para la segunda estrofa opción SATB:

        ooohh… hermoso es…
        hermoso, santo es….

  24. Kristin

    Our choir will be singing this for our service the Sunday before Epiphany. It is beautifully written; thanks for sharing it with us.

  25. Davis Bigelow

    So far, this is my favorite Christmas solo. I have performed this beautiful number at least six times – usually accompanied by piano and violin, and it never gets old. Thanks Sally!!!!! I notice that there is no Personal Composer file available. If you’re interested, I might be able to record one for you? It would just be with my Sony stereo MP3 recorder (which is pretty good, but not a professional studio recording) This year, I’m considering performing “The Most Beautiful Story That’s Ever Been Told”, but so far I can’t sing it through without choking up. It is a very sweet piece of music. Thanks again for creating such soulful, beautiful and heart-warming music!

  26. Marlene

    Members of the St. George Temple Choir are singing this tonight at the St George Tabernacle in Utah. We are also singing The Star of Bethehem. I have enjoyed learning this beautiful music. Your talent is shared and loved.
    Thanks you!!!!

  27. Angela

    I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your music. It is lovely with sophisticated harmonically. I teach High School Choir at the Center Place Restoration School in Independence, MO. Our choir performed some of your pieces last year at our Christmas concert and will again this year.

  28. Debbie

    I love your arrangements and original work. Thank you for sharing. I will be using this in our Sacrament Meeting for Christmas.


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