Listen at Christmas: Alfred and Bates Burt

sheet music of Alfred Burt carols


Each year during the Christmas season my very musical sister Robbyn chooses a new carol for her family to learn. This year she decided on “Nigh Bethlehem,” from composer Alfred Burt, with lyrics by Bates Burt. As we’re now living nearby, I told her we’d love to join in. We left our piano behind in New England, and picking out my alto part on a virtual keyboard is not ideal, but I’m making a little progress, and I look forward to getting together to rehearse.

Here’s a Dutch group, Koarbizznizz, singing “Nigh Bethlehem.”



Nigh Bethl’em on a wint’ry night,
Noel, noel, noel!
Poor shepherds saw a lonely sight
When angel hosts in vesture bright
Burst forth from heaven’s lofty height,
And sang, “Noel, noel”,
And sang, “Noel, noel!”

Peace and good will the Christ child brings,
Noel, noel, noel!
And saves all men from evil things,
For He of whom the angel sings
Is Lord of lords and King of kings!
Then sing noel, noel, noel!
Then sing noel, noel!

So Christian folk, put fear aside,
Noel, noel, noel!
And spread the gospel far and wide,
That joy be great at Christmastide,
And God in Christ be magnified!
Then sing, noel, noel, noel!
Then sing noel, noel!


Do you have a favorite arrangement of a Christmas carol that you think we ought to learn next year?

[Image: yours truly]

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