Let us look at Jester Hairston’s 1956 Christmas song and the Scriptures behind it.
Long time ago in Bethlehem,
So the Holy Bible say,
Mary’s boy child, Jesus Christ,
Was born on Christmas Day.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:30–31, KJV-BRG).
Hark, now hear the angels sing,
A new King’s born today,
And man will live forevermore,
Because of Christmas Day.
While shepherds watch their flock by night,
They saw a bright new shining star
And heard a choir from heaven sing
The music came from afar.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:8–10, KJV-BRG).
Now Joseph and his wife Mary
Come to Bethlehem that night,
And find no place to born the child,
Not a single room was in sight.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:4–7, KJV-BRG).
Wise men come from lands afar, Bright Star lead for two years, With three gifts for the baby King, They worship overjoyed with tears.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet” (Matt. 2:1–5, KJV-BRG).
Hay filled Stable with Mary’s boy, Lamb and oxen lay, All rejoiced at Savior’s birth, In manger on Christmas Day.
“When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:9–11, KJV-BRG).