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New Music: Christmas Carol 2021, “Child in a Manger”

Sep 30, 2021

LMerry Christmas in September! (Well, almost October, but still… 😉 ) 

This year’s Christmas Carol, “Child in a Manger,” has been in the works for at least a year. The rhythmic pattern of the words is (mostly) based on an existing carol–50 points if you can guess which one!–and every melody I tried ended up a rewrite of the existing carol. **sigh** So Katherine Wright set the words to her own lovely melody. (I did NOT tell her which carol I had patterned the words after. No use complicating life.)

Here’s a recording of the duet version (sorry, I still haven’t bought a choir…) with vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor and James Loynes, and viola by Rebecca Lord.

When you write Christmas music you realize how little source material there really is to work with.  A lot of tradition goes into our Christmas carols: stables and hay, angel choirs and wise men at the manger, oxen and innkeepers and snow. As it happens, we have very little such detail so imagination fills the gaps.

In this song, my angels are singing. The scriptural record uses “saying,” but a multitude of angels in choral reading sounds like a decent choir to me. 😉

I’ve also wondered what the shepherds did with their sheep when they said , “Let us now go…” and “came with haste” to find the babe lying in a manger. So in my imagination, a few of the angels did what I would have done, and hung out to play with the lambs.

The recording is a collaboration of friends from several parts of this ever-shrinking world: Katherine (music) in Virginia, Allyse in Utah and James in England (both vocalists), Rebecca (viola) in Michigan, and yours truly (lyrics) in Colorado. What a wonderful small world we live in. Now if they could just figure out how to attach people to e-mail I’d be perfectly happy.

In personal news… My oldest daughter continues to fight ovarian cancer. Chemo was utterly ineffective, so we’re on to the next treatment–PARP inhibitors. I’m so grateful for your prayers! On the happier side of things, my newest granddaughter was born this week: Aerith Noel Wilson. Yeah, we’re a Christmas-loving family.  Isn’t she lovely? (What you can see of her anyway.) **sigh**

Happy singing!

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