Last verses: Hear the Christmas angels -- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Last verses: Hear the Christmas angels -- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Whether you sing, play or hear it to a tune called St. Louis, as many in Chicago may be startled to learn that we do, or a tune called Forest Green, which is more popular outside of this country, chances are you hear or contribute to some version of the Christmas carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

It's been one of my great favorites since I was old enough to try singing it and find it difficult. I always thought it was worth the work. Maybe it was the appeal of the first verse's mention of "thy deep and dreamless sleep" at an age of nightmares, or the paradox of "in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light."

But beautiful imagery like that in the first verse leaves me especially sad when the last verse is cut out. (For other hymns and carols in my Last verses series, click here.) In the case of "O Little Town," the last verse is a prayer:

O holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin and enter in,

Be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels

The great glad tidings tell,

O come to us, abide with us,

Our Lord Emmanuel! 




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    Wonderful, thank you Margaret. Have a great holiday. Best.

  • In reply to Larry Adams:

    You're welcome, Larry. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Best to you for the holidays and always.

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