If I Had Been in Bethlehem
About the Song
This song was written for my oldest daughter, Jennifer. It occurred to me, one evening shortly before Christmas, that if we had lived anywhere near Bethlehem, this intrepid young 7-year-old really would have followed the shepherds or the wise men, and she probably wouldn’t have asked permission, or told me where she was going.
The version marked SATB 2 has the easier choir parts of the two choral arrangements, but a more difficult accompaniment.
Church Music Contest: Children’s Song Division – 1st place 1988
Appeared in The Friend magazine, December 1989
Sheet Music Downloads
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Recording featuring vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor:
HQ Audio Downloads
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If I had been in Bethlehem the night of Jesus’ birth
And heard afar the angels’ joyful song of peace on earth
If I had seen the shepherds come to seek the baby fair
I think I would have followed them, and knelt beside them there
If I had lived in eastern lands and watched with eager eyes
If I had seen His star appear and blaze among the skies
If I had seen the wise men go to seek the newborn King
I think I would have followed them, my finest gifts to bring
I did not live in Bethlehem that Christmas night of old
Or travel with the wise men there, to bring Him gifts of gold
But I can give a greater gift than any earthly gem
For all my heart and all my love will be my gift to Him.
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