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O Little Town of Bethlehem

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Matthew 2:6 KJV

About the Song

Words by Phillips Brooks
Music by Lewis Redner
Arranged by Sally DeFord

Here’s a very simple SATB or Solo arrangement of the familiar hymn.  The melody is the original that was written to go with the words. (Many places use the “Forest Green” tune, which is also very lovely.)  The SATB should be easy for choirs to learn in a practice or two, and the accompaniment is very simple.

This arrangement disappeared from the site for awhile because… well, I didn’t like it. The introduction and interludes were a bit awkward, and I wanted to rewrite them.  Which I have done, so it’s back. 😉  

I couldn’t decide how much to rewrite and how much to just leave as history, since this is one of the earliest arrangements on the site (1987).  Though the new version bears a 2018 copyright, in the end I left the basic structure as it was, changing only the parts that bugged me most. 

There’s a piano track available below, though there’s so much give in this one that it will probably only be useful for reference.

Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)
Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Recording by Josh Henn:

Note: There is no free download for this recording.

Piano track:


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 his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

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


  1. Rafael

    Thank you for you work, it is very inspiring, just love and played a few arrangements you have made thank you ward conferences are very pretty with your music. I am from Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico. Actually central ward in Tlaquepaque

  2. Terri L Thomas

    Thank you so much!!!

  3. Kathryn

    Thank you so much for this beautiful arrangement and all the music you have made available! I am so thankful. A small ensemble at church has been practicing this song, and we all have remarked how beautiful it is! You are a blessing. I appreciate you! Thank you again.

  4. Danielle Kott

    I just wanted to thank you for making these available for free to us. I am so appreciative – they are beautiful arrangements and it’s such a blessing to have it available!

  5. Michael Maynor

    This is my most favorite Christmas arrangement for choir. As a choir director I’ve used it 5 times for sacrament meeting Christmas programs. It’s so beautiful.

  6. Gabbi

    Love this!!! Around Christmas I much prefer these simple sweet arrangements to the extravagant ones (those are for Easter and missionary farewells), and the range on this is perfect for me. It is so hard to find mezzo range arrangements that don’t suck!! Thank you so much!!!


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