The Friendly Beasts

"The Friendly Beasts" is a Christmas Song arranged for Primary Children, a small group, or even a Ward Choir.

Creative Commons License
The Friendly Beasts by Elizabeth Giuliacci and Debbie Andrew Fox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Christmas 2012, our Young Women's organization was in charge of planning our Hidden Lake Ward's Annual Christmas Party.  We decided on a "Back to Bethlehem" party.  The following "Decree" was distributed a few weeks before the party with the Sacrament Meeting Programs:

By order of his Royal Majesty, the Emperor Caesar Augustus, it is decreed that all the world is to be counted and taxed.
Therefore, let each person and family come for "A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM" to be taxed according to law.
Donkeys must be tied on the east side of the building and enter through the proper gate.
Everyone must be dressed in Biblical attire to enter the city. (We later had the Bishopric announce that we only encourage dressing don't have to!)
Bring a blanket for your family to rest on from your long journey, you may find that the inn is full.
Each family will be assessed taxes. Watch for tax notices.  (We had each family bring canned goods to be donated to the local food bank.)
A light supper will be available in the open market.
All taxing will take place on the date, time and place shown in the lower corner. Those disobeying this law to appear, will be sentenced to a holiday season without the true spirit of Christmas.
So let it be written. So let it be done.
After everyone had finished eating, we had a live Nativity.  I had asked Debbie Fox, our Primary Chorister to have the children learn a song or two to sing for the Nativity.  Debbie is FABULOUS and always has the coolest ideas.  Sure enough, she called me a couple weekends before the party and said she had some inspiration.  

Debbie came over on Sunday morning and pitched "The Friendly Beasts" idea.  She was the one who came up with the Noels in between the verses, as well as using "The First Noel" at the end and finishing phrase.  All I had to do was arrange it.  Once again, I was electrified, and I knew IMMEDIATELY that this was truly inspired, and that if I would start it, it would come quickly.

I sat down with it on Tuesday morning while all the kiddos were at school.  It took 3 mornings to finish it, and I was able to deliver it to the Primary the following Sunday for our one-and-only rehearsal before the Ward Party!  The really cool part is that Debbie had found picture books of "The Friendly Beasts" story in the $1 section at Target, so she bought 25 of them.  That way, the Primary kids didn't need to memorize the words.  They could just hold the book like a choir, huh?!?!

The kids loved it.  Seriously, our Primary is probably the best Primary in the whole church.  These kids are incredibly musical.  They LOVE to be taken seriously.  They love a challenge.  Every time we've given them an arrangement to sing, they beg to do it over and over again. I love childrens' enthusiasm for music!

Rachel and Tim Young as Mary and Joseph, and their real live baby as Baby Jesus!
Yes, I know I'm not wearing Bethlehem attire...dude...I can't sew on a would I make a costume?!?!


  1. I would love a copy of this song for our primary to sing at a ward Christmas party, but I'm getting an error when I click on the link. Could you help me please? Thank you!

    1. Kathee, I tried it just now and it worked for me...I hope other people aren't getting the same message! If you are, send me an email at and I'd be happy to email you a pdf. Thanks Kathee!

  2. I tried it in a different browser and it worked! Thank you!!

  3. I tried 3 computers and many browsers... even on a non-apple computer... still cannot open :/
    any other ideas?

    1. It turns out the opendrive site I use shuts me down if I don’t log in every 3 months, so I need to go in now and manually upload all my songs to the site again and redo the links. Since I haven’t gotten around to that yet I’d be happy to email you a pdf if you send me an email to

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I love this song so much, and I'm so glad I found your version to use for my children's choir this year. Have you considered submitting this for the new Children's Songbook?