Enjoyed posting some holiday music favorites (via youtube) on my Facebook last night. Enjoyed it enough that I’d like to share a few with you, here — each with a little commentary.
[Maybe it’s time to get a cup of coffee, or hot chocolate, or tea… and to close the door… and sit back, be still, and relax…]
Okay, call me a sap and a sucker for this first one… Still, it’s a favorite since I first heard it years ago. And little Avery White (Lord, I pray, she doesn’t lose soul and spirit amidst all her success at an early age!): her expressions make this particular youtube find most special. (If you can, slide the play position forward to the 40 second mark and get past some of the empty verbage.)
The next two pieces are from one whom I believe to be the most powerful Christian songwriter and composer of our time, Michael Card. His is the real gift of profound theology, artistry, and wordsmithing. Unconventional as they are (that is, they are not in the mainstream of holiday music), these selections work so well to present the gift of Christmas… and to remind me/us of our choice now… and throughout the year.
In addition to Card’s music in this next piece, I also appreciate the rich synchronization between music and film (mostly clips from “The Nativity”)… My compliments to the creator of this clip (whoever he/she is):
Finally, there’s my favorite sacred song of the Season, “O Holy Night.” The words get richer with every hearing. Had to scour the internet for a long time to find a version out there with all the verses. Yes, there are lot of awesome renditions out there (check out Mariah Carey, e.g., or Charlotte Church with Placido Domingo), but each of these comes at the expense of some precious words. Neglected in most versions, you see, are verses 3 and/or 4 (or parts thereof). As you listen to this “full version,” consider the words [printed below the video] very prayerfully:
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.