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Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

(Brooks / Redner)


This popular Christmas carol was written by Phillips Brooks and Lewis H. Redner in 1868. Brooks, pastor of the Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia, visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem in December 1865. Three years later the impressions of Bethlehem remained clear in his mind. In early December 1868, Brooks wrote a five-stanza poem (modern hymnals omit the third stanza) about Bethlehem. He asked his church organist and Sunday school superintendent, Lewis Redner, to write music to the poem. Redner wrote the music on the night of December 26-27, 1868. That Sunday morning (the 27th), O Little Town of Bethlehem was sung for the first time by a chorus composed of six Sunday school teachers and thirty-six children. Originally, Brooks called his Christmas carol St. Louis - a different spelling of Lewis Redner's first name.


Elvis recorded Oh Little Town of Bethlehem (the "O" was changed to "Oh") on September 7, 1957, at Radio Recorders. The master take was #4.



1. Oh, 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
Oh, morning stars together proclaim thy holy birth
And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth

1. (Repeat)


Where it was released:

Released for the fist time on Elvis's Christmas Album »



- Christmas with Elvis (1958) »



- Elvis Christmas Album (1957) »

- Elvis Christmas Album (1958) »

- Elvis Christmas Album (1964) »

- Elvis Christmas Album (1970) »
- Elvis Christmas Album (1975) »

– Pickwick Pack (1978) »

- The King of Rock’n’Roll – The Complete 50’s Masters (1992)

- If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1994)

- White Christmas (2000)

- It’s Christmas Time (2000)

- Christmas Peace (2003)

- Elvis Christmas (2006)

- Elvis' Christmas Album (2014) - FTD »

– His Songs of Praise, Volume 2 (2017) - FTD »

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