Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Music of the Christmas Season - sixth post: The Christmas We Have Not Forgotten

December 22

Pachelbel's Canon in D Minor.
Lyrics and arrangement by Paul O'Neill.
Sung by The Choristers, St. Bartholomew's Church, New York City.
Music played by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra,
from their album The Christmas Attic, 1998.
Later the music was used in TSO's production:
Ghosts of Christmas Eve

So often you hear the words spoken "The magic of Christmas." To me this presentation embodies the very idea of that magical feeling. Pachelbel's tune is so light, and the stage is barely decorated. There are a few children dressed in pj's, robes, and gowns. What looks like a cold mist is floating about, little white lights twinkle in the back ground, and there is a suggestion of falling snow. All simple, yet those words, We have not forgotten, say so very much.

A husband standing by his wife as she lovingly holds their baby; a few animals sharing their humble shelter seem about as simple as you can get. But this was not just any happy couple experiencing the birth of their child; this was truly a miraculous event. The Christ child had been born. However, there was an unimaginable event to follow. We know that the manger cast the shadow of a cross and another promise was to be fulfilled.

With this last selection, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas,



The Choristers:

Marilina Acosta
Brendan Burgess
Julian George
Shoshana Frishberg
Julia George
Jack Gibson
Nina Gottlieb
Erick Hernandez
Michelle Repella
Anton Spivack

TOS's THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS EVE - is a unique fantasy trip through the magic of Christmas. Narrated by award-winning actor Ossie Davis, the production takes us on a journey of a runaway little girl's decision to return to her family after she enters a rundown theater for shelter and encounters an old caretaker who guides her on her journey. This magical story - which features appearances from Atlantic recording artists Jewel and Michael Crawford - was filmed entirely on location at the newly refurbished and historic Loews Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey, and includes performances of such tracks as "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy," "Christmas Canon," "Music Box Blues," "Promises To Keep," and "This Christmas Day."

To be linked with Charlotte's and Ginger's Spiritual Sundays.

Music of the Christmas Season - Fifth Post
Music of the Christmas Season - Fourth Post
Music of the Christmas Season - Third Post
Music of the Christmas Season - Second Post
Music of the Christmas Season - First Post

photo credit:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Music of the Christmas Season - Fifth Post

Robert Shaw Chorale

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel carol was originally written in Latin text in the 12th Century. The author of the words and composer to the music is unknown. It is, however believed that the melody was of French origin and added to the text a hundred years later. The Latin was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


This song is sung across the nations by Christians who are waiting for Christmas day, the day we celebrate the Christ child's birth. For me this song exemplifies like no other the longing for the Christ child, and the need of the Saviour in our lives.

Linking to Ginger's and Charlotte's Spiritual Sundays. These two ladies provide a place on the net for spiritual writings, comments, videos and music.

picture credits:

Music of the Christmas Season and Light Show - Fourth post
Music of the Christmas Season - Third post
Music of the Christmas Season - Second post
Music of the Christmas Season - First post

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Music of the Christmas Season - Fourth post; Light Show

December 16

Peter Wilhousky added these lyrics to the tune of this Ukraine folk music.
The Original lyrics to the song by Mykola Leontovych Shchedryk, meaning bountiful, were sung at New Years.

Carol of the Bells

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells,
all seem to say, throw cares away

Christmas is here, bringing good cheer,
to young and old, meek and the bold.

Ding dong ding dong, that is their song
with joyful ring all caroling.

One seems to hear words of good cheer
from everywhere filling the air.

Oh how they pound, raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale, telling their tale.

Gaily they ring while people sing
songs of good cheer, Christmas is here.

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas,
Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.

On on they send, on without end,
their joyful tone to every home.

Ding dong ding... dong!

This Christmas light display is a Christmas gift to all from the Holdmans in Utah. They also donate any free-will contributions to the Make A Wish Foundation.

To learn more about this seasonal project see:

Music of The Christmas Season -
Third post
Music of the Christmas Season -
Second Post
Music of the Christams Season -
First Post

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Music of the Christmas Season - Third Post

December 11

Credits for the lyrics have been given to at least a couple of people - Emile Blemont, and Nicolas Saboly, a Jesuit poet and musician. Some references list this song as an anonymous Renaissance carol.
Translated into English by Edward Cuthbert Nunn.
Presented by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah.
There have been a few variations of the lyrics.

"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" is based on a French carol, "Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle "which originated from the Provence region of France in the 16th century, and was written by Emile Blemont.
The carol was first published in 1553 in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song was originally not a song to be sung at Christmas, but rather dance music for French nobility.

In the carol, visitors to the stable have to keep their voices down so little Jesus can enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to church services during the Christmas season while singing the carol.

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella,
Bring a torch, to the cradle run!
It is Jesus good folk of the village;
Christ is born and Mary's calling;
Ah! ah! beautiful is the mother
Ah! ah! beautiful is her son!

It is wrong when the Child is sleeping
It is wrong to talk so loud;
Silence, all, as you gather around.
Lest your noise should waken Jesus.
Hush! hush! see how fast he sleeps!

Hasten now, good folk of the village;
Hasten now the Christ Child to see.
You will find him asleep in the manger;
Quietly come and whisper softly,
Hush! hush! Peacefully now he sleeps.

Softly to the little stable.
Softly in a moment come;
Look and see how charming is Jesus
how he is white, his cheeks are rosey!
Hush! hush! see how the child is sleeping;
Hush! hush! see how he smiles in his dreams.


To be linked to Spiritual Sundays, with thanks to Ginger and Charlotte.

photo credit:

Music of the Christmas Season - Second Post
Music of the Christmas Season - First Post

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Music of the Christmas Season - 2nd post

December 5

Composed by John Rutter
John Rutter directing the Cambridge Singers

Angels' Carol

Have you heard the sounds of the angel voices
ringing out so sweetly, ringing out so clear?
Have you seen the star shining out so brightly
as a sign from God that Christ the Lord is here?
Have you heard the news that they bring from heaven
to the humble shepherds who have waited long?
Gloria in excelsis Deo! Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Hear the angels sing their joyful song.

He is come in peace in the winter's stillness,
like a snowfall in the gentle night.
He is come in joy, like the sun at morning,
filling all the world with radiance and with light.
He is come in love as the child of Mary.
In a simple stable we have seen his birth.
Gloria in excelsis Deo! Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Hear the angels singing 'Peace on earth.'

He will bring new light to a world in darkness,
like a bright star shining in the skies above.
He will bring new hope to the waiting nations.
When he comes to reign in purity and love.
Let the earth rejoice at the Saviour's coming.
Let the heavens answer with the joyful morn,
Gloria in excelsis Deo! Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Hear the angels singing, 'Christ is born.'
Hear the angels singing, 'Christ is born.'


Just for a moment imagine that you are with friends sitting on a hillside watching the stars in the sky, with maybe a few clouds floating across the heavens.
Prehaps some of you have laid back and are resting your eyes.
All is calm. Then suddenly without warning there is a bright light, you try to shield your eyes. That's enough to frighten you but that is not all. There is also a loud sound and it takes you a moment to realize someone is talking. "Don't be afraid, Jesus is born" he says. Don't be afraid - is he kidding? Jesus is born - what did he say? "You will find him...." Where? You hear more voices and it sounds like their praising God. And then they were gone.

What do you do next? Do you consult with your friends - maybe you imagined it. On tv you heard them talk about group hallucinations. Could it be you just dreamed it? Floodlights, boom boxes? Or would you be certain that you did see and hear angels? Would you have the faith to follow their instructions and go to the place of the Lord's birth?

At first I thought, "Of course I would go. After all those were angels, God's angels." Then I wondered if, after the angels left, would I start to doubt what I thought I had seen and heard. Would I say, "Hey God, would you send them again - just to be sure?"

Luke in the second chapter writes, "So they hurried off and found Mary, Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger...When they had seen him, they spread the word...The shepherds returned, glorifying and prasing God, for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Gloria in excelsis Deo. A Savior has been born.


Thank you, Jill, of Untie the Ribbons, for introducing me to this song.

Linking with Charlotte's and Ginger's Spiritual Sundays,

and Natasha's Sunday Song.

picture credit:

Music of the Christmas Season - 1st post

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Music of the Christmas Season

There are many beautiful Christmas songs, whether of sacred or secular genre. During this season I hope to add music to this post once a week. These are a few of my favorites, and I hope you will enjoy these selections.
Please let me know what your favorite songs are.

December first

Sung by Johnny Mathis appearing on the Tonight Show December 1974.
Written in 1944 by Mel Torme and Bob Wells.
Originally subtitled Merry Christmas To You.

The Christmas Song

(Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.


Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.


They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.


And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
Merry Christmas to you.


Unlike me, some of you have your houses decorated for Christmas, the presents are wrapped and under the tree, and the others are in the mail. I hope to catch up soon as I enjoy this wonderful time of the year. Our celebrations are to reflect our joy of the birth of Jesus, our saviour, and the presents we share are a reminder of the most perfect gift that God gave to each of us.

The spirit of Christmas should always be with us, but the Christmas season now begins.

Linking with Natasha's Sunday Song

and Charlotte's and Ginger's Spiritual Sundays.