Each year I set myself a Christmas carol challenge. Two years ago I wrote a piece for a quartet of men to sing. Last year I wrote a song for myself to sing with piano accompaniment. This year I’ve decided to write a congregational carol.

It’s called “Bethlehem: City of Joy!”, based on Luke 2:8-20. I made it deliberately very simple and easy to learn. The lyrics are not particularly deep.  Celebration and joyful energy are meant to be the feelings behind the carol.

You will see that it has a simple set of harmony parts. I am teaching the congregation to sing those to the best of their ability, but, more importantly, if the worship team can sing the parts that should be enough to make the carol work.

A PDF of the lyrics is here: Bethlehem Carol lyrics

A PDF of the sheet music is here: Bethlehem Carol Sheet Music

Recordings of the various parts are below:

All four parts:










You are very welcome to use it or adapt it if you think it would be helpful for your services.

I’d also welcome some feedback and any ideas for possible improvements.

Many thanks. God bless, Malcolm