Words: Laurence Housman, 1906
1. When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
Fair peace on earth to bring,
In lowly state of love He came
To be the childrenís King.
2. And round Him, then, a holy band
Of children blest was born,
Fair guardians of His throne to stand
Attendant night and morn.
3. And unto them this grace was givín
A Saviorís name to own,
And die for Him Who out of heavín
Had found on earth a throne.
4. O blessŤd babes of Bethlehem,
Who died to save our King,
Ye share the martyrsí diadem,
And in their anthem sing!
5. Your lips, on earth that never spake,
Now sound thí eternal word;
And in the courts of love ye make
Your childrens voices heard.
6. Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Child,
Make Thou our childhood Thine;
That we with Thee the meek and mild
May share the love divine.
Although they bear similar names, these three very different carols are based on the Neopolitan carol Canzone D'l Zampognari (Quanno nascette Ninno a Bettelemme) by Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.
When Christ In Bethlehem Was Born (Marvin, 1902)
When Christ our Lord was Born at Bethlehem Afar (Baker, 1904)
When Christ Was Born In Bethlehem - Neopolitan (Longfellow, early 1800s)
See also "A Christmas Carol by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, based on a poem from the Naples region of Italy, "Bourguignon De Gui Barozai").
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