O Little Town of Bethlehem
(tune and words: 1868)

O Little Town of Bethlehem was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, Rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. He was inspired by visiting the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church and his organist, Lewis Redner, added the music.

Redner's tune, simply titled "St. Louis", is the tune used most often for this carol in the U.S. but in the British Commonwealth, and sometimes in the U.S. (especially in the Episcopal Church), the English hymn tune "Forest Green" is used instead.
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
(tune: 1850, words: 1849)

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear is a poem and Christmas carol written by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. Sears' lyrics are most commonly set to one of two melodies: "Carol," composed by Richard Storrs Willis, or "Noel," adapted from an English melody.

It first appeared on December 29, 1849 in the Christian Register in Boston. Sears is said to have written these words at the request of his friend, William Parsons Lunt, pastor of United First Parish Church, Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1850, Richard Storrs Willis, a composer who trained under Felix Mendelssohn, wrote the melody called "Carol." This melody is most often set in the key of B-flat major in a six-eight time signature. "Carol" is the most widely known tune to the song in the United States.