John Speller's Web Pages O Little Town of Bethlehem

John Speller's Web Pages - English Christmas Carols
O Little Town of Bethlehem
When Phillips Brooks, then Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, wrote "O little town of Bethlehem," his organist, Lewis Redner, came up with a tune, "St. Louis," which is still widely used. Its chief rival since the publication of the English Hymnal in 1906 has been "Forest Green," an arrangement by Ralph Vaughan Williams of the old English folksong, "The Plowboy's Dream." Walford Davies wrote two tunes to Phillips Brooks's text -- one called "Wenger" in the Standard Edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, and the one reproduced below which is generally sung as a choral rather than a congregational piece. To encourage wider use of this extremely beautiful carol by congregations, I have transposed it from its original key of G Major to F Major.

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The Right Reverend Phillips Brooks, D.D. (1835-1893), Bishop of Massachusetts
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