Advent & Christmas

Songs - Advent & Christmas.jpg

Advent and Christmas, deep in theology and drenched in tradition, are made for music. Truths about the incarnation, virgin birth, angels, and the Messiah are wrapped in personal narratives from the dawn of the Christian story. I’ve loved writing songs about that story. I’ve also written a monologue of Mary pondering her own story on the night she and Joseph flee to Egypt with Jesus. That “Come to the Light” narrative includes many of these songs in their contexts within the Gospel story of the birth of Christ. They can be enjoyed just as they are, but I hope to provide the narrative soon, too.

Lyrics: Click on the linked song title in the text box to open a lyric PDF in a separate window.

COME TO THE LIGHT - Perhaps the world does not need yet one more nativity song about frightened shepherds, an angelic host, and a swaddled baby in a manger in Bethlehem. But, even if the “guest room” is full, there’s always room for Jesus. The idea that when we “come to the light” we can see things more clearly just felt like a song about the birth of Jesus that I wanted to write.

WE HAVE COME TO WORSHIP HIM - I can remember being captivated by Michael Card’s “Starkindler,” his 1998 album that he called “A Celtic Conversation Across Time.” It inspired me to try to capture that kind of Celtic feel in a song about the Magi and their long journey to find the King they had seen in the stars from the East. One day I’ll record this song in a full Celtic setting.

 COME BE WITH US EMMANUEL - What’s not to love about the beloved Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”? Musically and lyrically it captures the melancholic but hopeful longing for the promised Messiah. I just thought the call to “Rejoice!” longed for a positive musical expression as well. This is a re-energized remix of the original, with an acoustic tone and mood.

COME HEAVENLY CHILD - Before I knew about Advent, I edited an Advent product by a well-known Nashville composer and his wife. It inspired to write a congregational Advent chorus. In this recording, the last line is, “We worship you, the new born king.” Thanks to a friend’s input, that line has now been corrected to a more Advent-appropriate, “We long for you, our promised King.”

HOW WILL IT BE? - This was Mary’s question to the angel Gabriel when he came to her in Nazareth to announce that she would be the mother of the Messiah (Lk 1:34). Though she would faithfully respond, she still had questions. This song was originally written as a duet with Joseph, but it can also be sung as a solo by Mary. Again, this is just a rehearsal track that I recorded.

HOLY IS HIS NAME (THE MAGNIFICAT) - My first musical experience of Mary’s Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55) was John Michael Talbot’s classic, “Holy Is His Name.” I wrote this version for my Advent song cycle, trying to capture the entirety of Mary’s song “spoken to her by the Lord.” This is a rehearsal track for a performance. It should be a woman’s vocal, but like JMT it’s me.


SONGS IN QUEUE

Heaven’s Child Is Born
Yester-Christmas Day
You Just Gotta Do What the Angel Say