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O Little Town Of Bethlehem

4.0 / 5

Words & Music: Philips Brooks Lewis Redner

Oh 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
Oh morning stars together, proclaim thy holy birth.
And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth.

Oh 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.

Recordingdate: 1957/09/07, first released on: Elvis' Christmas Album (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of O Little Town Of Bethlehem:



Find available albums with O Little Town Of Bethlehem.

old shep wrote on April 19, 2008
Elvis does a beautiful version of this traditional classic, the best version I have ever heard
JerryNodak wrote on September 01, 2008
Of the traditional Christmas songs on Elvis' Christmas Album "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" is my least favorite. I consider Elvis' version adequete. Certainly not the best I've heard.
Even_B wrote on September 01, 2008
I think Jim Reeves and Mahalia Jackson has much better recordings of this song. I gave the song three stars, but if it had been sung by Jim Reeves I'd give it 5 stars. I've never cared much for Elvis' version.
Rob Wanders wrote on September 01, 2008
I don't like this song at all.
bajo wrote on September 01, 2008
A beautiful rendition of Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem by Elvis. My favourite version above all of this song. The entire Elvis' Christmas Album is a true winner all the way through!
sitdown revamped wrote on October 27, 2009
aside of the excellent versions known by different artists including Elvis, the most touching element for me in this song is the message.
old shep wrote on October 27, 2009
Although I still enjoy the original 1957 recording I played the "Duets" version many times last Christmas.
Monster wrote on October 27, 2009
Really like this song though I once sang it at a carol singing service in mass. I'm not religious and only went to humour my better half so I didn'y know any of the carols or hymns that were sang. Then this ol' chestnut kicked off and I was finally able to belt out a tune. Unfortunately the other 400 peope sang it straight whereas I, in my ignorance sang the Elvis version and I haven't been invited back to a carol service since. :)
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on October 27, 2009
I Love this version,infact i love the whole Elvis x-mas album, negative comments on this song should be ignored at all time that's how beautiful this song is
Steve V wrote on October 27, 2009
Nice but certainly not the best I ever heard.
Musicwizard wrote on October 27, 2009
One of the great tracks of Elvis' Christmas Album. 5 Stars all the way. Every Christmas I listen to Elvis' Christmas cd's all day, never skip any of them.
derekd wrote on October 27, 2009
My perfect Christmas, A great Irish/Ulster Fry for breakfast, with an Elvis Christmas CD playing, then watch the grandsons open their presents, with an Elvis Cd playing, phone my daughter & family in Brisbane, Elvis Cd still playing, Prepare Christmas dinner, guess who's playing on the Cd player? Yes, Christmas & my house has to have an Elvis Christmas Cd playing. I love ALL his Christmas recordings. My fav is 'If Everyday Could Be Just Like Christmas'.
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 22, 2010
Love the song and Elvis' interpretation. Having played the Christmas Duets so many times, I now regard this as my favourite of the two versions.
Deano1 wrote on April 22, 2010
When Elvis recorded this traditional Christmas carol he was still perfecting his vocals for singing ballads. He had some great ballads in the 50's, especially when he could put his unique stamp on them ("Don't", "My Wish Came True", "I Was The One", etc). But he also had some ballads that were so-so as his voice just wasn't smooth enough at that point ("First In Line", "Old Shep" and "I Love You Because" come to mind). Elvis gives a sincere, thoughtful version but not a great performance. He is better on the chorus than the verses as his uniqueness shines through more on the chorus and the verses tend to sound a bit flat. I would have loved for him to record a Christmas album with this type of song in the early 60's. By that time, Elvis had become a great ballad singer. I give it 3 stars, maybe 3 1/2 stars, but it isn't anywhere near his best work.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on April 22, 2010
Elvis does a nice job on this song, but I think he could have done it, a bit better. When compared, to the rest of the album, "little town" is one of the weaker tracks on the Christmas album. Of note, the song sounded better with the new arrangement on the "Christmas Duets-CD".
NONE000000 wrote on April 22, 2010
That Christmas Duets cd would have been so good had they NOT made it a duets cd at all and just updated the backing music (the way Guitar Man was done in the 1980's). So discounting whoever in God's name "Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman" are, the key to Elvis' performance on the song is sincerity. I agree that his ballad singing is not 100% mature yet on this track and frankly, I think it drags and is a little boring. However, it's tough not to respond to the sincerity in Elvis' voice. He had a voice that just cut through everything and always got right to the heart of things--that's how he made it through all the bad movie songs. And when he has something like this, even though it is not perfect, the simple sweet honesty in which Elvis sings is still touching.
sugartummy wrote on April 18, 2013
Elvis sings it as if it's a gospel. I like it. Mahalia Jackson shouts it without real passion; Nat King Cole sings it perfectly, but without passion; Jim Reeves sounds bored on this one; Mario Lanza showes off; Bob Dylan sounds like a crow; Frank Sinatra does a fairly good job, and even shows some passion; no, Elvis has thé version.
Gorse wrote on July 30, 2013
Simple without too many vocal tricks this is a charming production. Sure his ballad voice at this time was not the force that emerged a few years later but it fits this track perfectly -4 stars.
shawnrw wrote on January 04, 2014
A very nice traditional rendition of one of the all-time Christmas classic. Nothing spectacular but very enjoyable.
ElvisSacramento wrote on February 17, 2014
This is such a beautiful song and I believe that Elvis' rendition of it is the best. Five stars from me.
Cruiser621 wrote on May 21, 2017
I give this 1-star. Worst Christmas song of the lot. Just drags; way too slow and it labors. Sorry.
Miknik7077 wrote on October 14, 2020
Simple yet great. His voice had not matured yet but still so beautifully done.
TheMemphisFan wrote on December 19, 2021
The message is most important, but this isn't one of Elvis' best Christmas recordings (in my opinion).
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