Sheet Music: O Little Town of Bethlehem

TitleO Little Town of Bethlehem
Alternate titlesSt. Louis
ComposerLewis H. Redner (1831–1908)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyG major
RangeD4–E5
Time signature4/4
Tempo88 BPM
Performance time1:30
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (62 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.3 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.3 MB)
Date added2009-12-06
Last updated2009-12-06
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Categories
Christmas carols, Hymn tunes

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Sunday 6 December 2009

Tune of the Day: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Christmas hymn by L.H. Redner

Phillips Brooks, an Episcopal priest from Boston, was inspired to write this hymn when he was visiting the little town of Bethlehem in 1865. He wrote: “I re­mem­ber stand­ing in the old church in Beth­le­hem, close to the spot where Je­sus was born, when the whole church was ring­ing hour after hour with splen­did hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voic­es I knew well, tell­ing each other of the Won­der­ful Night of the Sav­ior’s birth.”

Three years later he wrote the poem for his church, and his organist, Lewis Henry Redner, added the music. Redner's tune, simply titled “St. Louis”, is the tune used most often for this carol in the United States.

The tune has been covered by many artists, including Elvis Presley, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Tammy Wynette, Bob Dylan and, more recently, by Britain's Got Talent star Connie Talbot.