Please identfy this hymn

What hymn is this version of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” to the tune of? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2b3LteDXkg&feature=related
Thanks! :slight_smile:

The tune is “Forest Green” - I had never heard “O Little Town of Bethlehem” sung to that tune until recently.

The name of the tune is “Forest Green.” Ralph Vaughn Williams is the one who set the words to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” to it. It’s an English folk tune.

ETA: **Das Glasperlenspiel **beat me to it!

St Louis is the tune that almost every American knows for the carol, but most hymnals I have seen include Forest Green as an alternate tune.

Forest Green is the go-to setting of O Little Town in England.

Yep, to me that tune is “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. I’ve never heard it sung to any other tune.

I wasn’t aware the tune had a life of its own outside the carol! Could you expound on this a bit more?

Me too. I was going facetiously to suggest it’s being sung to the tune of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

I had no idea that the adoption of the tune was so recent.

Another ‘me, too’ - the only time I’ve ever heard any other tune was the Cliff Richard version a few years ago (which I actually really liked - I’m a sucker for ChritmasCliff).

Walford Davies did a splendid arrangement of his own, but it’s more for choirs than for congregations.

That’s really interesting. I’m USian, and I’ve never heard it to this tune. I had no idea it was different in England. (There I go being an insular American again…)
Are any other hymns to “Forest Green?” I could have sworn another fairly common (non-Christmas) song had the same tune.

Well, this clears up a mystery for me. I’ve wondered why Keith Emerson’s “Variations on O Little Town of Bethlehem” bore no resemblance to the tune I’ve associated with those words all my life. He is of course using the “Forest Green” melody.

“I Sing the Mighty Power of God” was set to this tune in at least one church hymnal of my past.

Courtesy of Bob Rivers, here’s another version of “O little town of Bethlehem.”

(I think I like this one best.)

http://www.bobrivers.com/#v8716c7i15

Jenny
(Bar band veteran)

You could set a whole slew of other hymns to the same tune as long as they share the same metre. hymnary.org lists:

O little town of Bethlehem
All Beautiful the March of Days
I sing th’almighty power of God
As Men of Old Their First Fruits Brought
Canticle of Zachary
I Love You, Lord, My Strength, My Rock
Amid The Thronging Worshippers
Blessed Be the God of Israel
Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above
Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds
Eternal Spirit, God of Truth
Make Room within My Heart, O God
O God, No Longer Hold Thy peace
O Sing of Christ
O Spirit of the living God
We Come with Joy
When Jesus Walked Beside the Shore