O Little Town of Bethlehem- Chord Progression

Chord progressions are what make the song sound good. If you want a simple sound, you can use a simple chord progression. If you want the song to sound more full and advanced, you can use more advanced progressions that use sevenths, minors, and other extended chords.

Korg nanoKEY - O Little Town of Bethlehem closedtheband

Here are the piano chord progressions to O Little Town of Bethlehem

C - F - C - G - C

1 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 1

O (C)little town of (F)Bethlehem, how (C)still we (G)see thee (C)lie.

A (C)bove thy (A7)deep and (Dm)dreamless sleep the (C)silent (G7)stars go (C)by.

Now, usually, that 6-2m progression continues and progresses to 5 and then back to 1 like this: 1-6-2m-5-1. (C-A-Dm-G-C in the key of C) The reason for this is the circle of 5th/4ths. From A to D is 4. From D to G is 4. And from G to C is 4. If you can understand this relationship, you're goal to learn to play by ear will become much more successful.

But in this song, you simply play A7 and then to Dm. But instead of going on to G7, you simply return to the root chord (C). If you're at the C chord change, if you move to 6 (which is A) chord OR if you move to 3 (which is E) chord, those are not your basic chord changes. BUT, they are important because if you follow them using the circle of 4ths, they will lead you back to C.

Next part of the song, Yet, in they dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
You're going to move from 1 to 3 to 6m and back to 3. In the key of C, that is: C - E7 - Am - E7.

Again, typically, you would go from 1 to 3 to 6 to 2m to 5 to 1. In C that would be:


But, in this case, since you're playing a 3 then a 6m (the important part is that 6 is a MINOR), you'll find that you usually don't go on to the 2 if the 6 is minor. Let me say that in regards to the key of C: In this case, since you're going from C and then playing an E7 then an Am, you'll find that you usually don't go on to D if the A is minor. If the A is minor, then you usually return to E7. Like this:

Yet, (C)in they dark streets (E7)shineth, the (Am)everlasting (E7)light

Last part of the song, The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
The (C)hopes and fears of (F)all the years are (C)met in (G)thee (C)tonight.

Music + Chord Progressions go together! It's fun to play without sheet music!

Here is Sarah McLachlin, with her angelic voice, singing and playing this beautiful song:


The Story of the Hymn


Lyrics to O Little Town of Bethlehem and Midi


Merry Christmas!



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