Joseph and Mary are so bad.
Kissing in the park, kissing in the park, kissing in the park.
He practices dentistry without a license.
But its alright cause mary read the books and shes got his back.
They're saving up for a trip to France.
Gonna leave the baby with one of the inlaws.
Just long enough to see the eiffel tower and bank.
Wearing a scarf and boots on the airplane.

The Devil come to bethlehem,
with a bible and an alarm clock.
The Devil come to bethlehem,
and he ain't afraid of the dark.

Joseph and Mary are so sad.
Singing in a park in Paris, France,
reading the news, and the ... looks bad.
A pile of empty postcards on their lap.
Nothing bright to write and nothing good to send.

Devil come to bethlehem,
with a bible and an alarm clock.
The devil come to bethlehem,
and he ain't afraid of the
dark-ness is less frightening than the
light-ness is less frightening than the dark.

Joseph and Mary are so Dead.
Oh its been years, its been years, its been many, many years.
All their descendants are long buried and gone,
and their closest blood relatives works in a philadelphia Sears.
Walking on water in his own bathtub,
turning that water to wine.

Devil come to bethlehem,
with a bible and an alarm clock.
The devil come to bethlehem,
and he ain't afraid of the

dark-ness is less frightening than the
light-ness is less frightening than the

dark-ness is less frightening than the
light-ness is less frightening than the dark.

Lyrics submitted by Tobold, edited by Mellow_Harsher

The Devil Came to Bethlehem song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the things that make Regina so damn special.

    I mean take this song, almost nobody cares about it and will probably never get to be recorded in a studio. Hell, she probably only sang it back in the old days when she used to play in the cafes/bars a lot.
    Still , it's such a great song.
    savianon December 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is beautiful, but please don't stone me. i'm not anti-christ or anything, i'm quite indifferent, but it's unique to find someone expressing a different point of view. regina does this quie often, and quiete beautifully.
    indierockesson September 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm too tired to articulate what this fabulous song means to me at the moment...I have a minor lyrical correction to offer though: "reading the news and the...looks bad" should be "reading the news and it sure looks bad." For the record, "Sitting in a park in Paris, France/reading the news and it sure looks bad" is a line pulled directly from "California" by Joni Mitchell. Regina even emulates Joni's voice in the recording I have of this song, which made me laugh the first time I heard it.
    just_old_lighton September 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song.
    i think regina's making a strong statement in this song. she's saying what the light-ness (religion) calls 'sin' isn't all bad and that no one can live up to their harsh expectations, not even biblical characters like mary and joseph.
    By this part:
    'dark-ness is less frightening than the
    light-ness is less frightening than the dark' i think she's saying there's a difference between being evil (the dark-ness) and being some one who sins and doesn't follow the light-ness (religion). and that the light can be really more scary than the dark; religion can be turned into something much darker than sin.
    love_is_freeon January 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love her joni mitchell imitation
    love them bothh
    alexandraqwertyon August 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely love this song!!
    I was wondering about the significance of the alarm clock. To me, this song is about reality not panning out how you want it to, like you need a "wake up call" (and an "alarm clock").

    The Devil is carrying a sacred text and then pointing out its fallacies. at the same time, I feel like Mary and Joseph's relationship is falling apart and their original expectations for love are not being met ("nothing bright to write and nothing good to say")...even after going all the way to Paris (symbolizing their goals for their love)... and in the end it just culminates in not a Savior, but some guy using his powers for mundane uses (turning his bathwater to wine).
    anythingatall02334on February 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis should have more comments, even if they're as pointless as this one: i love this song! lol

    but for real, i agree with love_is_free: in this song, Regina's saying that you don't need to be Bible-perfect to be a "good person".
    jazzy06792on August 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentComments above about this song are right on!!!

    And you may be surprised to know that it is highly likely that Jesus Christ would agree with you all -
    HE did not approve of the religious people of his day - the Pharisees, who were extremely judgemental,
    hateful, and even murderous. He spent his time for the most part with people who needed him, and NOT
    with people who thought of themselves as TOO GOOD TO NEED ANYONE OR ANYTHING FOR ANY REASON.
    (And it isn't about being a Jew, and it isn't about being a Gentile. It is about what's going on,
    no matter WHO you are, in your heart, and mind.)

    Another good point (in the comments) is about the Devil. He KNOWS the Bible quite well.
    And knows how to deceive even better.

    It is also true that "No one can live up to the harsh expectations of religiosity" - NO ONE, but
    Jesus - He did that FOR us.
    This of course, does NOT mean we get to go around killing each other, stabbing each other in the back,
    and snubbing everyone we don't like with our noses.
    It DOES mean we get the PRIVELEGE of learning how to love, understand, give and let live, for-give,
    learn to trust, grow up, and also think about what it means to keep the best parts of childhood and joy, honesty and simplicity, inside.
    Not everyone DOES these things of course, but it is still a PRIVELEGE to have them to work on.

    It is my firmly held belief that Regina Spektor is the Poet Laureate of the WORLD today.

    And about her music, she has said that she has all these notes going on in her head all the time.
    And ANYONE who is a composer with ANY kind of TRUE talent can TELL that she has a deft sense
    of harmony, and a lucid sense of juxteposition and strata. (I'm a composer, so I know all these things.) That is to say - Regina Spektor ... is a genius, in the truest sense of the word.
    fgbowenon October 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how regina squishes together the "Lightness is less frightening than darkness is less frightening than light" part.

    Maybe lightness and darkness are not the two distinct things of sin and godliness as the bible says, but more similar to one another, both can be wonderful and scary.
    BrokenCarouselon November 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit was interesting to read everyone's comments. i have a completely different view of this song. i could be totally wrong, but i've always interpreted it as a message about the depravity of religious commercialism. i thought the "devil" was religious fanatics who are obsessed with seeing the "holy land" and go trekking over there like tourists with their cameras, hence "with a bible and an alarm clock". they have their trips planned out with their little itineraries and they use their modern machines to tell them when to be where and they lug their western lives around in backpacks and miss the whole point. i may sound cynical about it, but i'm not an angry atheist--nor am i atheist at all--i promise. just get fed up sometimes with the shallowness of it all. but anywho, that's how i view the song.
    expectedperfectionon February 04, 2010   Link

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