Bethlehem Down

This is a traditional hymn sung for Christmas and the Epiphany, although some sing it during Advent.


Here's what Wikipedia says about it: "Bethlehem Down" is a choral anthem or carol composed in 1927 by Anglo-Welsh composer Peter Warlock (1894–1930) (the pseudonym of Philip Arnold Heseltine) and set to a poem written by journalist and poet Bruce Blunt (1899–1957). It is a popular anthem used in the Anglican church during the liturgical seasons of Christmastide and Epiphany. Warlock wrote it to finance an "immortal carouse" (a heavy bout of drinking) on Christmas Eve 1927 for himself and Blunt, who were experiencing financial difficulty. The pair submitted the carol to The Daily Telegraph's annual Christmas carol contest and won.


It's amazing to me that something so lovely as this hymn was written to finance the mundane, but then hasn't God used the ordinary and mundane throughout the centuries as a means to His end?


We sang this together in our Second Advent Sing together. It's so beautiful we might sing it again in our last Sunday in Advent. If you'd like to join us, RSVP here


The music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKtTFIkP9ck

The words:

When He is King we will give him the King's gifts,

Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,

Beautiful robes", said the young girl to Joseph

Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down.


Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight

Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,

Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music

Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.


When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,

Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,

He that lies now in the white arms of Mary

Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.


Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,

Close-huddled oxen to keep Him from cold,

Mary for love, and for lullaby music

Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

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