Advent Carol for December 23: O Little Town Of Bethlehem

This has always been my favourite, partly because it’s pretty, partly because it’s sweet and partly because it’s the first carol I learned to sing the alto part for, which means it is the reason I started to enjoy singing carols rather than simply listening to them. The alto part isn’t at all complicated, which is probably why it’s the first one I learned, but it is pretty.

And the words are pretty too, which I always forget because like the Lord’s Prayer or All You Need Is Love I’ve known it for so long that I never think about what I’m singing. But you can’t beat a line like Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by, can you?

Also, you get to sing the “How Silently” verse quietly, and then get louder, and that’s never not fun, and it has another perfect third-verse descant. Sing along with this one, why don’t you?