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When the Son of God Was Born

About the Song

Someone once said that Christmas is the favorite holiday of children because there are elements of it that appeal to all the senses… brilliant colors; big, thick, soft sugar cookies; crinkley wrapping paper; big, thick, soft sugar cookies; the smell of evergreen and cinnamon; big, thick, soft sugar cookies…

I admit to a rather juvenile (and unhealthy) liking for big, thick, soft sugar cookies, along with all the other sights and smells and tastes… and especially sounds of the Christmas season. I love the jingle of bells; the sound of my husband’s voice reading from Dickens; the knock on the door immediately followed by the voices of carolers. The first time our organist plays “The First Noel” or “Joy to the World” for prelude it can bring me to tears.

The hymns and carols of Christmas are among the most beautiful music on earth, so I feel almost presumptuous adding to them. But Christmas sets the world a-singing, and I’m no exception. This simple song, my 2006 Christmas Card Carol, is my humble contribution to the sounds of the season.
Note: This carol is offered in several keys and voicings, but not specifically as a high-voice solo. If you’re looking for a higher version for solo voice, just use the SSAA accompaniment.

Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)

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

Recording featuring vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor and James Loynes:

Accompaniment 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.


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


In the darkness o’er Judea
In the silence of the night
As Bethlehem lay dreaming
‘neath the still and starry skies
Holy angels came rejoicing
Bright with glory like the dawn
And set the heavens singing
When the Son of God was born

In the darkness o’er Judea
Newly kindled o’er the earth
A wondrous star was gleaming
To proclaim Messiah’s birth
And as wise men came a-seeking
Heaven’s light went on before
And set their hearts a-singing
When the Son of God was born

In the shadows of a stable
In a manger, sweet with hay
The Holy Child lay sleeping
E’er the coming of the day
And the light of love descending
‘Round the cradle of the Lord
Set the world a-singing
When the Son of God was born

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


  1. Vicki Stamps

    RE: When the Son of God Was Born
    I sang this a few years ago. Last week the friend that accompanied me, asked if I still had a copy. I knew I had one because I don’t throw out any music. I found it and listened to it and sang it and it stirred my heart like it did those many years ago.

    Thank you for this most wonderful song for this season.

  2. Cathy Chardon

    So beautiful 😍

  3. Breanna

    I love this song! So beautiful. Which PDF corresponds to the accompaniment track on Soundcloud?

  4. Shelley T Merrill

    Oh, this is just lovely! Thank you for sharing your gifts and this beautiful melody and lyrical representation of the birth of the Savior. 🙂

  5. Becky

    This is a beautiful song; a beautiful message. I was looking for a special song on Sunday and I found this. Thank you for making this available. God bless.

  6. Ruth Kanyanga Kamwi

    Hello Sally,

    Thank you so much for your lovely music.I always find something from your collection everytime I have to perform.And now am searching for a Christmas solo.

  7. Kimberly Frazier

    I’m wondering if there might be another verse available? Just thought I’d ask. I really like that this song is not high. It is lovely.

  8. Carmen Davis

    Hi Sally, Love your music. Thank you for helping all of us in finding beautiful music for our Ward. I love the song “When the Son of God Was born’. I want our young women to sing it as a duet in our Christmas Sacrament Meeting. We also have two young men that I would like to use. One plays the violin and one the viola. Your Alto/Baritone duet has the obligato but not the women. Do you have a copy that would have the SSAA and a violin obligato? I think the young pwople would love it. Thanks, Carmen Davis

    • Lindsey Lewis

      I’m interested in this as well!!!

  9. Gaylene Bickmore

    Hi Sally,
    I love using your music. I want to use When the Son of God Was Born SAB for our Christmas program, but I also want to use the violin part. Since it’s only written for the AB arrangement (in another key) I was wondering if I could have your permission to transpose it and use it with my choir. Or–maybe it’s somewhere on the website and I just can’t find it!
    Thank you, your work makes my life so much better.

    • sallydeford

      Hmmm… the violin part was written for a different setting, so the measures won’t line up, and the part may well clash with the vocals and/or piano in the SAB… but you’re welcome to try! 🙂

  10. Daniel

    Realmente es de bendición y mucha utilidad lo que hacen. Me encantaría aún más si se hicieran más grabaciones SABT papa conjuntos mixtos. Yo tengo uno.

  11. Keni

    please make some more..solo for male…i really love your music. it touches my heart that sometimes make me cry and reflect..

  12. Cindy Schmidt

    Do you know what Key the recordings are done in?

  13. Lindy

    I am looking for sheet music for When The Son Of God Was Born with guitar chords. Do you know where I could buy that? I need the Mezzo/Tenor key. Thank You! And thank you for all of your beautiful music! I sang Would I Know My Savior with a string quartet last year and Loved it!

  14. Debbie Olmstead

    My ward choir is performing this in Sacrament meeting before Christmas. Everyone in the choir loves this. Some of the altos expressed how they love the lullaby feeling of the music. Can’t wait to share it with the congregation! Thank you again for all that you have done in giving us such beautiful music. This is a wonderful contribution to the carols of Christmas.

    Sincerely, Sister Olmstead

  15. Kevin Washington

    My daughters and grand daughters have performed this song for the past several Christmas Programs. One of my daughters and I will perform it as part of my sacrament talk in December. It is absolutely a beautiful piece of music! Thanks for sharing your gifts.

    Stupendously yours,

  16. Shawnee Hansen

    Thank you Sally!! Once again, your generosity of your beautiful gift will touch hearts and lift spirits in our ward this coming Christmas. You are my hero!!

  17. Kevin Washington

    My daughters and grand daughter will be singing this song as part of my talk in sacrament meeting this Sunday.

  18. Fontella Young

    I’ve chosen this song and 2 others to perform at the Portland’s visitors center December 7th, I wish you were here.
    Love you lots.

    • Sally DeFord

      Awww…. I wish I were too! Love you back! xo

      • Betty

        Thank you Love your music


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