Star Of Bethlehem

Album: American Stars 'N Bars (1977)
  • "Star Of Bethlehem" is yet another song of anguish inspired by Young's discovery that his girlfriend (and mother of his child), Carrie Snodgress, had been cheating on him. This tore Young up at the time, but he came to a different perspective as he faced up to the fact that he cheated on her, too.

    Young didn't have that mature perspective in November 1974, however, when he recorded this song in the aftermath of his discovery. He explored his pain in some other songs, including "Motion Pictures" and "Danger Bird," but "Star Of Bethlehem" may be the most revelatory of them all because it finds the normally anti-religious Young expressing a religious sentiment.

    The song has Young discussing how friends, dreams, lovers, and every other worldly thing has abandoned him, and how nothing and on one seems trustworthy. So what is there to rely on?

    The answer to that
    lies nowhere in this room
  • The final verse is when Young makes an unambiguously religious appeal.

    You might wonder
    who I can turn to
    On this cold
    and chilly night of gloom
    The answer to that question
    Is nowhere in this room.

    Yet still a light is shining
    From that lamp on down the hall.
    Maybe the star of Bethlehem
    Wasn't a star at all
  • The Star of Bethlehem is important to Christianity. It appears in the Gospel of Matthew. Three magi "from the East" follow the star to find the newborn Jesus.

    The line "maybe the Star of Bethlehem wasn't a star at all" implies that the star was divine, maybe even God himself.

    They say there are no atheists in foxholes. Maybe there are no atheists in heartbreak, either.

Comments: 1

  • Mal C from Ny NyTo whoever contributed these Song-facts, thank you!
see more comments

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

David Paich of TotoSongwriter Interviews

Toto's keyboard player explains the true meaning of "Africa" and talks about working on the Thriller album.

David Bowie Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

How well do you know your David Bowie lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."