The American preacher Phillips Brooks travelled to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve of 1865, and three years later he wrote the text to the poem O Little Town of Bethlehem for the children of his congregation in Philadelphia. His church organist Lewis Redner composed the music to the carol on Christmas day that year (1868). After several failed attempts at finding a pleasing melody, Redner woke up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, inspired by a tune he heard while sleeping. He wrote down the music to O Little Town of Bethlehem, thus creating one of the best loved Christmas songs ever.
Select the song image below for a printable PDF of O Little Town of Bethlehem, or scroll down for links to many more arrangements in seven different keys in treble, bass, and alto clefs. The woodwind and brass arrangements are in the key of concert B flat, and the string arrangements of the carol are in the key of C. You can also view and print the lyrics to O Little Town of Bethlehem.
For a countdown to Christmas, visit the How Many Days Until Christmas page. The Two Happy Bears are excited about the holiday and are eagerly counting every second!
Tap the image of the sheet music for a full-size PDF of O Little Town of Bethlehem.
Play-Along arrangements of O Little Town of Bethlehem. These pages have versions of the carol for band and string instruments for you to play with other musicians:
More keys! Select a link below for a printable PDF of O Little Town of Bethlehem in any of the following keys, for treble, bass, and alto clef.