Beneath the Stars in Bethlehem
Composer John Pickard Text John Pickard
Voicing SATB and organ
Church Season Christmas
Length 3' 45" Price $2.25 (U.S.) Released 6/99
Catalog no. 405-247 Difficulty Moderately difficult
Download a review copy of this anthem
"This cradlesong for SATB choir and organ is a beautiful piece with both text and musical setting by John Pickard. Its very simplistic sound elicits peace, gentleness, mystery, and awe. Though the tune appears to be simple, it is still very captivating. The jazz-based harmony of the accompaniment also plays into this ethereal mode by way of extended harmonies, such as added ninths, elevenths, thirteenths, altered pitches from borrowed keys and a variety of suspensions. Some stanzas are set to a secondary melody accompanied by a counter melody, both being increasingly chromatic and expressive." --The Hymn, October 2001
Lush harmonies and gratifying vocal lines bring to life the poignant text of this moving anthem for Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany. The organ part is written on three staves, but may be played without pedal.
O Jesus born beneath the stars
in Bethlehem that wintry night,
there was no room to lay your head,
no other place for you to lie.
Across the years we see you there;
asleep before your toil begins,
is there a room within our hearts,
a lowly place for you to share.
Another year has come and gone,
and you have made account of all
the paltry favors grace has won,
the empty vow, the frequent fall.
O Jesus born in Bethlehem,
the King of Kings and Lord of all
the dreams and hopes of this poor world,
our Saviour in an oxen's stall.
O bless us Lord, this Christmas night,
our minds with your pure thoughts inspire,
and make our lukewarm hearts to glow,
with tneder love and joyful fire.
Another year has come and gone.
Again your shining star appears to guide us
as we bow before your throne,
and offer up this prayer.
Through life's bright day and death's dark night
O gentle Jesus born in Bethlehem.
Beneath the stars that Christmas night,
O gentle Savior be our Light.
© 1999 Selah Publishing Co., Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., 15227. All rights reserved.