In the little village of BethlehemAuthor: William Harold Neidlinger
Published in 13 hymnals
Printable scores: PDF, SibeliusAudio files: MIDI
1 In the little village of Bethlehem,
There lay a Child one day,
And the sky was bright with a holy light
O'er the place where Jesus lay.
Alleluia! O how the angels sang.
Alleluia! How it rang!
And the sky was bright with a holy light,
'Twas the birthday of a King.
2 'Twas a humble birth-place, but O how much
God gave to us that day,
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect, holy way. [Refrain]
Baptist Hymnal, 1991
|First Line:||In the little village of Bethlehem|
|Title:||The Birthday of a King|
|Author:||William Harold Neidlinger|
|Meter:||18.104.22.168 D with refrain|
|Refrain First Line:||Alleluia, O how the angels sang|
|Liturgical Use:||Scripture Songs|
Bulletin Score (melody only)
William Harold Neidlinger wrote this text circa 1890. It was published in a pamphlet by G. Schirmer. There are two stanzas and a refrain. In each stanza is a contrast between the insignificance of Bethlehem and the importance of the Christ child who was born there. The refrain is a burst of joy over the spectacular picture of a host of angels – a fitting welcome for a King.
The tune, NEIDLINGER, was written with the text, and appeared with it in the Schirmer pamphlet, where it was published for baritone and piano. The tune is designed for solo performance rather than congregational singing, with a range of a twelfth, and frequent melodic leaps.
This song is obviously best suited to Christmas. Because of the soloistic nature of the tune, it is probably best to avoid using it for congregational singing. A choral arrangement would be a better choice, such as “The Birthday of a King,” with a soloist on the second stanza. The handbell setting in “Let Our Carols Fill the Sky!” closely follows the arrangement in the original publication of this song, including the melodic motifs in the introduction.
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org
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|Instances (7)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|Baptist Hymnal 1991 #102||In a little village of Bethlehem||The Birthday of a King||Alleluia! O how the angels sang||William Harold Neidlinger||William Harold Neidlinger||Irregular||Jeremiah 23:5||NIEDLINGER||G Major||1991|
|Baptist Hymnal 2008 #191||In the little village of Bethlehem||The Birthday of a King||Alleluia! Oh, how the angels sang||William Harold Neidlinger||William Harold Neidlinger||Irregular||NEIDLINGER||G Major or modal||English||2008|
|Celebration Hymnal #284||In a little village of Bethlehem, There lay a Child one day,||The Birthday of a King||William Harold Neidlinger; Robert F. Douglas||10.6.10.7 with refrain||NEIDLINGER||G Major or modal||1997|
|Sing Joyfully #212||In the little village of Bethlehem||The Birthday of a King||William Harold Neidlinger||William Harold Neidlinger||[In the little village of Bethlehem]||G Major||English||1989|
|The Christian Life Hymnal #136||In the little village of Bethlehem||Alleluia! O how the angels sang||Neidlinger||2006|
|The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #162||In the little village of Bethlehem||The Birthday of a King||Alleluia! O how the angels sang||William Harold Neidlinger||Robert F. Douglas; William Harold Neidlinger||10.6.10.7 with refrain||NEIDLINGER||G Major or modal||English||1986|
|Worship and Rejoice #224||In the little village of Bethlehem||The Birthday of a King||Alleluia! O how the angles sang||William Harold Neidlinger, 1900-||William Harold Neidlinger, 1900-; Robert F. Douglas, 1941-||Matthew 2:9; Luke 2:13-14||[In the little village of Bethlehem]||G Major or modal||2001|