Virginia Glee Club Wiki

"Betelehemu" is a setting for men's voices of a Nigerian Christmas Carol, written by Babatunde Olatunji with Wendell Whalum. Olatunji, who was a college student at Morehouse College at the time he wrote the carol, composed it for the Morehouse College Glee Club. Composed in the 1950s but not published commercially until 1992, the work was first performed by the Virginia Glee Club during the Christmas Concert (1993). It was recorded on 56th Annual Christmas Concerts.

The work features lyrics and percussion from the Yoruba tradition, and includes a section for an improvised vocal solo.


Awa yiori Baba gbojule
Awa yiori Baba fehenti
Nibo labi Jesu
Nibo lagbe bii
Betelehemu ilu ara
Nibe labi Baba o daju
Iyin nifuno
Adupe fun o jooni
Baba oloreo
Iyin fun o Baba
Baba toda wasi

We are glad we have a Father to trust
We are glad we have a Father to rely on
Where was Jesus born?
Where was he born?
In Bethlehem the city of wonder
That is where the Father was born for sure
Praise be to Him
We thank you for the day
Gracious Father
Praise to you Father
Merciful Father

Glee Club performances[]