New Carols for 2020

These Carols are taken from 'The Word'

A cantata for Christmastide

Set for SSATBB, with satb soloist.

The original version is scored for piano, oboe, viola and cello,
( there is also an organ transcription for church choirs )


This recording was made by Matthew Curtis of Choral Tracks USA

The Songs

click on the title to hear the individual songs the lyrics are below

The first song

'In the beginning' ( Genesis 1:1)
This owes much to the Hindu tradition of Shiva,dancing all into being,
the weaving of a cloak of flesh for the indwelling of spirit.
For me, this vision of creation
is congruent with that of particle physics and cosmology,
and encompasses the 'hard' problem of conciousness.

The second song

'Can it Be' ?

.... echoes the question set by John Betchamen


The third

'A virgin shall be with child'

explores the prophecy of the annunciation

The forth,

'A Desert Song'

owes much to T.S.Elliott, not only his 'Journey of the Magi'
but also to 'Little Gidding'


The fifth,

'How does this wind blow?'

shares the puzzlement of Shepherds, out of their depth.




The last song,

' Christ is Born'

a peal of bells for Christmas morning.


In the beginning was a voice, a still small voice,
A pebble dropped in to the void splashed out in ripples and waves, Ripples and waves of time ripples of time,
And waves of space and ripples of space and time

And shot throughout in weft and warp the knowing Spirit,
coaxing, coaxing
That ev'ry singing thread should join its note to hers in knowing in knowing
And weave a cloak to clothe such knowing in
A cloak of flesh

In the beginning was a voice, a still small voice small voice
Can it it be such Mystery should come to Earth that such as we should sing Him lullaby?
should sing sing lullay lullay lullaby lullay
Can it be that from the gravid void the Word takes flight to take the Forms of face and light?
this night sing lullay lullay lullaby lulay
Can it be ?
A virgin shall be with child
she shall bring forth a son
he shall be called Emanuel
God with us!
The coldest desert skies were sugared with the spray of diamond stars that frost the night.
A journey thought unwise, yet a single star ablaze assured us that our reckoning was right.
Our journey through the years had led us to this time and had led us to this moment now
Had led us to this town, this stable bare, this babe asleep upon his mother's breast

The coldest desert skies are filled with angel choirs, the music of stars, songs full of hope,
songs of beginning, songs of peace on Earth. And at our journey's end we found ourselves where we had always been, but knew it now as Heaven-blessed.
Snow like angel feathers falling whisper to the waiting silent Earth like angel feathers silent whisper to the waiting silent snow like angel feathers silent whisper to the waiting
Oh how does this wind blow warmly in winter with a scent of springtime in its breath?
what is that music humming through the tree tops is that dawn that's brightening the West?
Oh such a strange night, we spent it watching who'd believe? they'd mock us with their mirth
who would believe in angels in the hedgerows who'd believe their story 'bout a birth?
But still, off we trudged to where this babe was lying in a manger, sleepy little mite
Rocked by a maiden who soothed his crying over head the star of stars was bright

so Glory to God Hosanna in the highest peace on Earth goodwill to ev'ry one
Glory to God Hosanna in the highest peace on Earth goodwill to ev'ry one
snow like angel feathers falling to the Earth
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God
Ding-dong, Ding-dong, Christ is born, Christ is born
And Christ is born in Bethlehem alleluia!
Christ is born, for in the beginning was the Word!

The recording was made by Matthew Curtis of Choral Tracks in his studio in USA, I'm very grateful to him and his colleague Alexandra for their efforts despite the pandemic.

to listen to the recording, click here..

to read the lyrics, click here..


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