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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.

Listen (and free 128kbps MP3 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:

HQ Audio Downloads

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. Cindy Schmidt

    Do you know what Key the recordings are done in?

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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,

  5. 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!!

  6. Kevin Washington

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

  7. 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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