Behind the Christmas Song: The Birthday of the King

This is a beautiful Christmas song that Daddy and I performed together many times.



The lyrics and music were written by William H. Neidlinger in 1890.

No other information is known about this beautiful Christmas carol.   The song has been recorded and performed numerous times over the years by various artists.

Maybe his work was inspired by the passage in Jeremiah 23:5 that says, “I will raise up…a King who will reign wisely.”

Neidlinger was born July 20, 1863 during the height of the Civil War in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1890, he’d finished a two year apprentice with Dudley Buck and C. C. Muller.  He was organist for St. Michael’s Church in New York City until 1896. birthdayofaking-ppt1

He conducted numerous choirs in New York City and Philadelphia.  From 1898-1901 he was a singing teacher in Paris, France.  Upon his return he settled in Chicago, Illinois and was considered a prominent singing teacher.  He composed two opera’s, Ulysses in 1901 and Sweet Anne Page in 1903.

He turned his interest to composition and child psychology, after finding success with his book Small Songs for Small Singers.  He eventually abandoned music and established a school for handicapped children in East Orange, New Jersey.

He died on December 5, 1924 in Orange, New Jersey.

Neidlinger’s The Birthday of the King continues to beautiful tell the story of Jesus birth and inspire.

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