O Little Town Of Bethlehem chords & lyrics

by Sarah McLachlan

  • Lyrics: Phillip Brooks
  • Featured Artist: Sarah McLachlan from the album Wintersong
  • Music: Key of C Major in 4/4 time at ~ 92 bpm (♩)
  • Chords: C, F, G, G7, A7, Am, Dm, C/A, Csus2

O Little Town Of Bethlehem by Sarah McLachlan

Intro: 4/4 ||   C   |  F  -  G  |  C  | Dm  -  G  ||

     C               F                  C        G7     | C  F  C  / |
1. O lit-tle town of Beth-le-hem___ How still we see thee lie
     C        A7       Dm                      C       G7     | C  F  C  / |
   A-bove the deep and dream-less sleep___ The si-lent stars go by
       Am                  E7              Am             E7
   Yet in the dark streets shin-eth___ The ev-er-last-ing Light
       C         Dm       F                    C       G7    | C   F  C  / |
   The hopes the fears of all the years___  Are met in thee to-night

Instr: ||   C   |  F  -  G  |  C  | Dm  -  G  ||

       C              F                 C         G7    | C    F  C  / |
2. How sil-ent-ly how sil-ent-ly___ The wond-rous gift is giv-en
      C      A7       Dm                   C         G7   | C     F  C  / |
   So God im-parts to hu-man hearts___ The bles-sing of His Heav-en
      Am               E7             Am               E7    
   No ear may hear His com-ing___ But in this world of sin
         C          Dm      F                      C           G7    | C  F  C  / |
   Where meek souls will re-ceive Him still___ The dear Christ en-ters in

Instr: ||   C   |  F  -  G  |  C  | Dm  -  G  ||

     C              F                  C       G7  | C  F  C  / |
3. O Hol-y Child of Beth-le-hem___ Des-cend to us we pray
        C       A7       Dm              C       G7  | C  F  C  / |
   Cast out our sins and en-ter in___ Be born to us to-day
      Am                  E7             Am                  E7
   We hear the Christ-mas an-gels___ The great glad tid-ings tell
     C       Dm   F                   C       G7  | C  F  C  / |
   O come to us a-bide with us___ Our Lord Em-man-u-el   
     C       C/A  F                   C       G7  | C  F  Csus2  C |
   O come to us a-bide with us___ Our Lord Em-man-u-el

🗝️ C Major

Numbered Circles: Chord fingering - number inside circle indicates which finger to use
White Numbered Circles: Optional Notes
Unmarked strings: Play open
alt: Alternative voicing
X: Don't play string
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings
R: Root Note

Left Handed Charts:


Star over Bethlehem
  • Level Of Ease: Easy to Moderate depending how you play it.
  • Song Key: C Major - no sharps or flats
  • Tempo: approx 92 bpm (♩)... If you are using a metronome or click track, the beat sounds on every quarter-note OR crotchet.

Sarah plays the song beautifully in a fingerpicking style that utilizes a lot of interesting chord shapes and extra notes which compliment this excellent presentation. I have simplified the song as much as possible so that everyone can play along. There are a couple of things you might like to try...

When she plays the last bar of lines 1, 2 and 4 of each verse | C F C / | she slides up to the F from the C chord by playing the F chord the same shape as an open E chord except up 1 fret. This is fine as long as you don't play strings 1,2 and 6... see chart. Play it whatever way feels the most comfortable. This lends itself to finger-picking as opposed to strumming, as you are more likely to hit the 'x' marked strings when strumming this particular chord.

At the end of the song, she plays a Csus2 (x3001x) on the 3rd beat of the last bar and hammers (h) finger 2 onto the 4th string 2nd fret to finish on the C chord (x32010) on the 4th beat of the bar. You can just play a C chord if you prefer, but it does add a nice touch... just remember to play the Csus2 on the 3rd beat and hammer on the 4th beat to finish... don't strum on the 4th beat as the hammer-on takes the place of a strum or pick. If you listen carefully, you will hear this.

h (hammer-on): bring your finger down sharply on the string to make it sound.

The C/A chord is simply a C chord leading with an A bass note... x02010. We give up the leading C bass note and replace it with an A (open 5th string). We still have all the notes in the C chord with the C note played 1 octave higher on the 2nd string - first fret.

The repeat sign or simile mark / means you repeat the previous chord or note in the bar, therefore | C F C / | means 1 beat on C, 1 beat on F and 2 beats on C.

When you see a written chord, e.g., x32010, each space or segment (6 in total), represents each guitar string starting with the lowest string EADGBe. Each number represents the fret played and the letter 'x' means you don't play that string, therefore in this example of an open C chord, x32010

  • E String: x - don't play string (bottom E - fattest string)
  • A String: 3rd fret
  • D String: 2nd fret
  • G String:play open string
  • B String: 1st fret
  • e String : play open string (top E - thinnest string)
This is a great way of writing chords quickly without having to chart them.

There are various other ways to play Csus2 (1-2-5 / C-D-G). I have chosen the easiest variation that sits well within the song. Other variations include:

  • Csus2: x30033
  • Csus2: x30013

You don't have to play all the extras, and if you find the C/A or Csus2 chords a little confusing, just play the C chord... it still sounds fine.

Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan

Born: Sarah Ann McLachlan on January 28th, 1968, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Occupations: Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, painter, executive producer

Active Years: 1988–present

Instruments: Vocals, piano, keyboard, guitar, banjo, ukulele, harp

Music Styles: Pop, rock, pop rock, soft rock, adult contemporary

Sarah McLachlan

🌍 sarahmclachlan.com

📖 Sheet Music at MusicNotes.Com - Various Scores

🍏 Wintersong... make sure you sample this album - a beautiful easy listening Christmas presentation.

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