Christmas Music: The Birthday of a King

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | holiday

The Birthday of a King

Words and music by William Harold Neidlinger (1863-1924), circa 1890.  Neidlinger was a composer, conductor, organist at St. Michael’s Church, New York City, and voice teacher, but his main interest was working with retarded children, and he founded a school for this purpose in East Orange, N.J. Originally published in 1912 in Neidlinger's native Brooklyn, the song has been popular ever since, particularly as a baritone solo, since it shows off the voice quite well and is not difficult to sing.

1. In the little village of Bethlehem,
 There lay a Child one day;
 And the sky was bright with a holy light
 Over the place where Jesus lay.

 Alleluia! O how the angels sang.
 Alleluia! How it rang!
 And the sky was bright with a holy light
 'Twas the birthday of a King.

2. 'Twas a humble birthplace,
 But O how much God gave to us that day,
 From the manger bed what a path has led,
 What a perfect, holy way. Refrain

Beautiful song of God's love for His creation.
 Done beautifully by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.