Please come back tomorrow for another posting in my Advent calendar
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O little town of Bethlehem,
Beloved of us all
But all your steep and winding streets
Surrounded by a Wall.
The Star of David in the sky
Shone over you that night;
Today it stands for stolen lands
And might become the right.
Where Christ was born of Mary,
The gunships fly above,
Their rockets’ fire and razor wire
Deny the God of Love.
And yet the songs of angels still
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to all on earth.
How wondrously, how wondrously,
The people on your streets,
Though tanks and guns shoot down your sons,
No power on earth defeats.
When good and evil do contend
The Word of love must win:
Where people will receive Him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Come down from heaven sent:
The sword again of Herod’s men
Would slay the innocent;
But still the Christmas angels
The peaceful tidings tell;
You’ve come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Immanuel.
Philip Brooks, a priest, visited the town of Bethlehem in 1865.
Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church, later set to music by his organist, Lewis Redner.
In UK, it is generally sung to the traditional tune, Forest Green, arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
These new words were inspired by a visit to Bethlehem in November, 2008.