Home » Christmas Carols » Bethlehem Down

Bethlehem Down

Hymn lyrics to Bethlehem Down (1927) music by Peter Warlock, lyrics by Bruce Blunt

“Bethlehem Down” is a Christmas carol for choir composed in 1927 by British composer Peter Warlock —the pseudonym of Philip Arnold Heseltine. It is set to a poem written by journalist and poet Bruce Blunt. Oddly, it was written for The Daily Telegraph‘s annual Christmas carol contest — and won.

When He is King we will give him the King’s gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
“Beautiful robes”, said the young girl to Joseph
Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight
Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,
Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary
Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.

Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,
Close-huddled oxen to keep Him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music
Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.