Tag Archives: Carol

Thoughts on “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

The text of the popular Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a lyrical paraphrase of the O Antiphons, an ancient set of seven antiphons for the Magnificat (Song of Mary) sung by Christians at the Vespers services held on the last seven days before Christmas (December 17-23). Each of the O Antiphons expounds upon a name that the prophet Isaiah had given to the Messiah: 1. December 17: O Sapientia (O… Read More »

A New Metrical Translation of “Maria Walks Amid the Thorn”

In a previous post I offered a literal translation of all seven stanzas of the German Advent/Christmas Carol “Maria Walked Amid the Thorn” (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-maria-walks-amid-the-thorn). With this post I offer a new metrical translation of the carol. Interestingly, singing the full version makes the carol a song that can be sung at other points of the Church Year, including today, the Baptism of Our Lord. I had the privilege this morning of… Read More »

A New Metrical Translation of the Original “Silent Night”

Several days ago I placed on Facebook a new literal English translation of the Christmas carol “Silent Night” (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-silent-night). The interest was overwhelming and several people requested a metrical translation of the original text. Here is a metrical translation that I have crafted and recrafted over many years. The intent has been to keep as much of the deep and rich theology of the original text as possible while at the same… Read More »

More Paradoxes of “This Little Babe”

There is another great Robert Southwell poem in Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols (for the first, see www.jubalslyre.com/the-paradoxes-of-this-little-babe). Although this movement is entitled “In Freezing Winter Night” (click here for a recording), the poem’s original title was “New Prince, New Pomp.” Interestingly, Southwell’s original title parallels the title of the poem from which “This Little Babe” is taken: “New Heaven, New War.” With deep insight, vivid imagery, and compelling metaphors both poems explore the mystery, wonder, and… Read More »

O Come, All Ye Faithful (SATB) – English or Latin

This setting of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is an attempt to musically portray a great victory parade  to see the Christ Child (see www.jubalslyre.com/thoughts-on-o-come-all-ye-faithful). The choral arrangement begins with a soloist inviting the faithful to join in a great, joyful, and triumphal procession to Bethlehem. The full choir joins by repeating the last part of the stanza, a lost tradition that is evident in early hymnals and choral arrangements of… Read More »

Sussex Carol (SATB w/ Piano or Harp and Opt. Handbells)

The Sussex Carol was one of the many English folk songs collected for posterity by Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958). This arrangement is a relatively easy, but boisterous arrangement for SATB choir with piano or harp and optional handbells. It is published by Walton Music (WW 1243) and available from GIA or your favorite music retailer. For a complimentary review copy, please send us a note via our Contact Us page.… Read More »

Thank You to Trinity’s Musicians and Worship Leaders

I would like to offer a sincere thank you to all those who were involved in last evening’s Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Trinity. From those who prepared the Sanctuary to the Lectors and to all the musicians and thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, the proclamation that occurred was incredibly strong, wonderfully heartfelt, and truly beautiful. For me there were many, many favorite moments. Besides… Read More »

Fantasia on VENI EMMANUEL (String Quartet or Orchestra)

I was fiddling around with playback feature in Finale and the Garritan ARIA Player and discovered that my motet on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sounds really good with just strings alone, so here it is arranged for strings. This arrangement would work with either a string orchestra or a string quartet. If you are looking for a joint work for your next Christmas (or holiday concert), it could also… Read More »

Of the Father’s Love Begotten (SATBdiv) – English or Latin

This setting of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” is the second motet in a set entitled Three Latin Christmas Motets and is dedicated to the American Kantorei of St. Louis, Missouri. It musically intertwines two manifestations of the God incarnate: that which occurred with the birth of Christ and that which happens when believers observe the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The primary textual and musical element is the ancient, but… Read More »

O Come, O Come Emmanuel (SATBdiv) – English or Latin

This setting of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sets all seven verses of the hymn modulating into four keys while passing the melody from voice to voice before finally concluding with several sudden and surprising key changes that lead to what I call a “Picardy third on steroids” (i.e. a major chord built on the altered note of the E minor Picardy third). This motet is available with the standard… Read More »