Christmas Carols for Palestine

      Pamela Olson
      1 December 2004

      O Little Town of Bethlehem

      O Little Town of Bethlehem,
      Besieged we see thee lie.
      We see in your uneasy sleep
      the tanks and jets go by.

      Destruction in the morning,
      Arrest campaigns at night.
      The hopes and prayers
      of sixty years
      are freedom, peace, and rights.

      How silently, how silently
      The soul of a child escapes.
      Such violent and unneedful deaths
      Cause thousands of heartbreaks.

      She didn't see it coming,
      The deadly sniper's strafe.
      Kids shot in schools,
      in cars, on roofs -
      There's nowhere to be safe.

      O City now in Palestine,
      Your Christians have mostly left.
      Between the Walls and checkpoints caught,
      Who can endure the theft?

      O thirty feet of concrete,
      O razor wire and Jeeps,
      And waiting for
      three hours or more
      To reach work, school, or family.

      O ghostly town of Bethlehem,
      in curfew we see thee lie.
      Your streets are dead, the people dread
      to wander lest they die.

      The kids are going crazy
      with cabin fev'r and fear,
      'Cause if they go
      play in the snow
      They'll be shot down like deer.

      O little town where Jesus' birth
      Inspired the hearts of men.
      What can we say to Jesus now?
      His town is drowned in sin.

      Illegal assassinations,
      Civilians shot on sight,
      From Gilo comes
      the sound of guns
      All through the blessed night.

      Away in a Refugee Camp

      Away in a refugee camp,
      no kitchens or beds,
      Palestinian children
      lay down their sweet heads.

      The stars in the sky
      look down where they lay
      And shine on their homelands
      so fa-ar away.

      Our towns lie in ruins
      across Isra'el.
      Israelis who live there
      pretend they can't tell.

      Our hills and our beaches
      so long occupied;
      Kids trapped in concrete camps
      are fit to be tied.

      We love thee, O Palestine,
      our homes and our hearts.
      We dream of the day when
      our lives can restart.

      In camps we have no rights,
      From Israel we're barred.
      We wait for the world to see
      How we've been scarred.

      O Come Little Children
      (to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem)

      O come little children,
      O come one and all.
      O come to the Church
      Where He started it all.

      It's been bombed and shot up,
      and blood ran in streams
      When Israel besieged it
      to silence our screams.

Idea ruthlessly ganked from Duo Doloroso,
whose carols are published here.