From the recording Down in Yon Forest

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The Hills are Bare at Bethlehem
(Music: American shape-note hymn
“Prospect” collected by William Walker,
attributed to “Graham”
published in 1835.
Words by Royce Sherf, 1929-2017)

The hills are bare at Bethlehem,
no future for the world they show;
yet here new life begins to grow,
from earth’s old dust a greenwood stem.

The hills are cold at Bethlehem,
no warmth for those beneath the sky;
yet here the radiant angels fly,
and joy burns new, a fiery gem.

The heart is tired at Bethlehem,
no human dream unbroken stands;
yet here God comes to mortal hands,
and hope renewed cries out: “Amen!”