My Favorite Christmas Song, What's Yours?
I'm sure you have a favorite Christmas song, don't you? I have mine and I really enjoy listening to it as well as to other Christmas songs. It’s that time of the year again!
In the Philippines, the songs start being played as soon as the “-ber” months come around. Yes, we hear the songs as early as September. That’s how early we start celebrating Christmas here. Then this extends way into the New Year and officially ends with the feast of the Three Kings or Epiphany.
They say we we in the Philippines have the longest Christmas season ever. I don't really know how true this is, but just based on the people I have asked, there must be some truth to it.
I love listening to Christmas songs because they are all either happy or sentimental tunes. So when I hear them, I kind of get into the mood for Christmas.
There are several Christmas songs that I like listening to. I can classify them into two groups: Traditional and Pop.
Among the traditional ones are: “Oh Holy Night”, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, just to name a few.
Included in the pop ones are: “Christmas Story”, “You’re All I Want for Christmas”, “Little Christmas Tree”, “Give Love on Christmas Day”, “Silver Bells”.
Oh, and I also like some Philippine Christmas songs like: “Pasko na Sinta Ko” (trans: It's Christmas My Love) and “Pasko Ay Sumapit” (trans: Christmas Has Come).
However, my favourite Christmas song is really “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.
My Favorite Christmas Song
Yes, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” is my favorite song. I just love the richness of its tune. Every time I hear the tune, I can almost imagine how Bethlehem must have looked like when Jesus was born as “...The silent stars go by...”.
When I was searching in YouTube for the video that I will embed in this hub, I discovered that there is another version of this song. The words are the same but the tune is not. However, the version that is my favorite is the one that I am presenting here.
Another reason why I love this song is that, it is beautiful whether sung as solo as in the video below, or as a choral piece as in the second video.
This singer, Connie Talbot, is the youngest singing sensation, who first wowed everyone in the show, “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2007.
I actually just discovered her in YouTube and instantly fell in love with her pure, angelic voice and of course her rendition of my favorite Christmas song.
Here are the Lyrics Once Again:
O 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.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
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.
My Favorite Christmas Song as a Choral Piece
When “O Little Town of Bethlehem” is sung as a choral piece, the harmony of voices brings out the richness of its tune. Don’t you agree?
A Little Bit of History
The story is that, Philip Brooks, an Episcopal clergyman, visited Bethlehem in 1865. He was so inspired by the visit that he wrote a poem in 1867. I don’t know why it took him 2 years after to write the poem. There is no record about this.
Anyway, a year after the poem came out, Lewis Redner, the church organist, created the music for the poem. Redner supposedly titled the music “St. Louis”. It is believed that the song was first sung by their Sunday School children’s choir. Eventually the poem and music became known as “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM, an English composer, later harmonized the music and thus the song in its present form now, with all the voices and instrumentals.