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A Most Befuddling Thanksgiving Update (or My 2017 Christmas Card Carol 🙂 )

Nov 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from the USA!  Tomorrow is turkey day around here, and the retailers are having a competition to see who can send the most spam before it arrives. So I ignored my e-mail and finished up this year’s Christmas Card Carol. 

As I contemplated the Very Important Issue of what to title this post, I thought about…


Take Time Away to Be Thou My Holy Vision in a Manger.


Um, maybe not.

This year’s carol is one arrangement with three different sets of words.  It all started when my daughter, Holly, messaged me during General Conference and said, “This song needs to be Away in a Manger.'”  She was so right.

Here’s this year’s offering, sung by Allyse Smith Taylor, with violin by Jana Hanni. Can you identify the melody? (There’s a clue in that jumbled title reject.)


Since Be Thou My Vision” and “Take Time to Be Holy” are two well-loved Christian hymns, I decided to produce scores for each of those as well. All three arrangements are identical, except the words and the resultant rhythmic alterations those words demanded. That made 36 scores to upload (counting the Personal Composer scores) for a single arrangement. Which got a bit confusing. Hence the use of the word “befuddling” in the title.  If you catch any mistakes, let me know.

The arrangement is voiced for solo and for SSAATB.  (The choral setting of “Away in a Manger” is too late in the season to be of much use… typical.)

The solo is in the alto range, but the SSAATB accompaniment is a step higher, and works just fine with the solo version.  If you need it higher still, here are transposition instructions.

This is the first installment of a project Allyse and I have been working on for… well… years.  Yeah, I’m efficient like that.  She spent a week with me this fall, recording 16 (count ’em… sixteen!) tracks… all beautifully sung (of course), and all clamoring to be mixed and readably written down. 


So there you have it… my first Christmas present of the season..

Away in a Manger
Be Thou My Vision
Take Time to Be Holy

Happy turkey day to all!

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