The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Come, Little Children

For Christmas

Version 1

Words: Ihr Kinderlein kommet, Christoph von Schmid (1768-1854), 1840
Translation: Unknown

Music: Ihr Kinderlein, Kommet, Johann Abraham Peter Schulz (1840)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Meter: 11 11 11 11

1. O come, little children, O come, one and all.
To Bethlehem haste, to the manger so small.
God’s Son for a gift has been sent you this day.1
To be your redeemer, your joy and delight.

2. The hay is His pillow, the manger His bed
The beasts stand in wonder to gaze on His head
Yet there where He lieth, so weak and so poor
Come shepherds and wise men to kneel at His door

3. He’s born in a stable for you and for me,
Draw near by the bright gleaming starlight to see,
In swaddling clothes lying so meek and so mild,
And purer than angels the heavenly child.

4. See Mary and Joseph with love beaming eyes
Are gazing upon the rude bed where He lies,
The shepherds are kneeling, with hearts full of love,
While angels sing loud hallelujahs above.

5. Kneel down and adore Him with shepherds today,
Lift up little hands now and praise Him as they;
Rejoice that a Savior from sin you can boast,
And join in the song of the heavenly host.

6. Now "Glory to God!" sing the angels on high.
And "Peace upon Earth!" heavenly voices reply.
Then come little children, and join in the day
That gladdened the world on that first Christmas Day

Alternate First Verse

O come, little children, from cot and from hall
O come to the manger in Bethlehem's stall
There meekly He lieth, the heavenly Child
So poor and so humble, so sweet and so mild


1. Or: night Return


William Studwell, The Christmas Carol Reader

Based on the nineteenth-century German song, "Ihr Kindelein, kommet" ("O Come, Little Children"). Christoph Von Schmid (1768-1854) was a German Roman Catholic priest and schoolmaster, authored this carol approximately 1850. The verses were set to a melody by Johann Abraham Peter Schultz (1747-1800).

William L. Simon, ed., Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas Songbook (1981)

Christmas is, above all, a children’s holiday, and many hymns are addressed to children, reminding them that the real reason for the sugarplums and Christmas trees is the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child. Christoph yon Schmidt, who wrote the words to this carol, was known in his native Germany for the books on morals and religion that he wrote for children. The melody was written by Johann Abraham Peter Schulz, himself a child prodigy who at 15 went to Berlin to study under Johann Philipp Kirnberger, an organist who had been a student of Johann Sebastian Bach.

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