New Music: Christmas Carol 2021, “Child in a Manger”
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**
Links to material in this post
Child in a Manger (Solo, Duet, SATB, with various instrumental parts)
The best to you and your family and know that prayers are being said for you and your family.
Thank you for making such great and meaningful music.
Thank you for all the beautiful music you create. We have performed your choir songs for years in our Stake Choir in Page, Arizona. Now I live in a very small town, Joseph City, Arizona. We want to perform Child in a Manger this year with our young women. We all thank you. I will pray for your daughter. Your grand daughter is so sweet and cute. Have a wonderful holiday season.
Sally – I love the spirit of the music that you compose. Whether it is Christmas or Sacred the melodies are always appropriate to the message. Thank you for sharing your gifts with everyone. My choir is small but with a little adjusting, I can always use what you provide. May the Lord bless you in all your efforts.
Thank you so much for sharing your gift of music and love of Christmas.
You are such a great treasure!
Thank you so so much for your music. My sister-in-law and I just had a little Christmas music night for my grandparents. She sang with her angelic voice while I played the piano. I had just gone through a break-up and was needing to feel God’s love. The spirit was beautiful as she testified through song of Christ our Savior
“In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.”
My grandpa said it was the best Christmas present we could have given them, and it was the best present you could have given us, thank you. Prayers for you daughter.
Another absolutely beautiful song that speaks to the soul! Thanks you
So thankful for your music. You have an incredible gift and a very generous giving heart. Your music blesses millions I am sure!
This is so beautiful! My mind started running away with those in our Ward that would sing it as a duet versus the choir version. Thank you for sharing your incredible talent with the world to bring again his love to all of us.
God bless you and yours for all you do to make our world better!!!
Prayers for your family Sally and thank you for your music.
tears of course. wonderful music always does that…..what an awesome song. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing your talents. I love your music! Prayers to your lovely daughter and family.
Sally, the music to this piece is so soothing and peaceful that it gets your attention as soon as it begins. This is such a beautiful story and the music fits it perfectly. You can almost see what’s happening. You never cease to amaze me every time you give us something new. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us.
Such a beautiful song! Hope to sing it this Christmas season during service. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. Prayers for you and your family.
Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this. I look forward to this being performed multiple times and in multiple ways this season and in many more to come!
Beautiful Beautiful song. Your music “always” lifts me up. You are so GENEROUS in sharing you gift with others. THANK YOU!!!! I pray that your daughter will be healed “CONGRATULATIONS” on the gift of a new precious granddaughter. 💝
Thank you Sally for continuing to bless this world with your gifts. That fact that you are party of a music community that honors our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ emphasizes how important music is in God’s plan. Blessings on you and your family. I feel so privileged and blessed that I was able to be led by you and participate for a few years in sharing your magnificent cantatas.
So beautiful, thank you so much for sharing your talent.
Equally beautiful / baby Aerith Noel and “Child in a Manger” Both blessings to all from above.
So beautiful, peaceful and serene, so lovely
This is beautiful – so peaceful and just like I imagine it would have felt on that sacred night. I love how the melody, harmony, words and accompaniment all work together to create something even more beautiful than each individual part. Thank you for using your gifts to help us feel the love and comfort of the Father and the Son.
I believe that “what goes around, comes around” so I wish you the same gifts you give us in your offering to the Lord, especially in the midst of the concerns for your daughter’s health. May your family feel the Lord’s hand in your life.
The happiest days are when the babies arrive!
A hearty congrats…
I have loved your music – especially when I was able to sing some of your arrangements a number of years ago in our Stake Christmas Concert. You have been blessed with such a talent. Congratulations on your newest addition and prayers for your daughter — we seem to be on the same ark!
A beautiful tender lullaby. I have loved your music for so many years. We will not be having a full choir this year for Christmas, but duets, small groups, and instrumentalists, will bring the spirit to our stake.
My heart hurts for your daughter and her battle with cancer. I will add prayers to the circle for your family. God bless you.
Again, thank you for sharing your very special arrangements with us. So well done.
Beautiful new Christmas song, than you so much for sharing. My heart goes out to you and your family as you watch your daughter struggle with cancer. May the Lord bless her and your family with the strength and faith you need.
Another beautiful composition! Thank you, as always, for sharing it with your many fans. Congratulations on your beautiful new granddaughter. My prayers are with your daughter and you. Bless you!
This is soooo Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I will have to translate it and record it!
Will let you know when the Spanish version is on my channel!
Yes. Yes you should!!! <3
That is a nice, peaceful piece. I enjoyed listening. Thank you for sharing your talents.
Beautiful song. I am so sorry about your daughter. Tears came as I have been there watching my beautiful daughter suffer with cancer. It made the song all the more special as music touches the heart of a mother who cradled her child.
SO Beautiful!!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent !