Monday, December 15, 2008

New (sort of) Christmas Song

Well, this has been an interesting week. The counseling course syllabus is almost completed, and the recording of our next cd continues to move along. Same old, same old...However, our readers might find this interesting: I have been wanting to write a new Christmas song, but how do you do that without being completely cliche?

I was researching ancient Christian writings (pre-780 AD) for the "History of Biblical Counseling" section of my class. One search turned up a hymnal of early church hymns, and I was intrigued. I began reading through a few of them and ran across this one:

By St. John of Damascus, 780 A.D.

Bethlehem rejoices!
Hark the voices clear,
Singing in the starlight
Nearer and more near.

(Chorus)
Unto God be glory,
Peace to men be given;
This His will who dwelleth
In the heights of heaven.

Heaven cannot contain Him,
Nor the bounds of earth,
Yet, oh glorious mystery!
Virgin gives Him birth.

Now the light ariseth
In the darkened skies,
Now the proud are humbled
And the lowly rise.

I set my computer on the floor and pulled out my guitar to see if I could come up with a decent melody / harmony. The end result isn't exactly like the translation by Brownlie (above), since I did alter a few turns of phrase while I was writing the tune, but I am happy with the result. I will post a recording on our Facebook "fan" page later tonight, for those who might be interested in hearing it.

It was a lot of fun to perform it at a Christmas concert this last week, and we will be doing it again at a concert in Raleigh, NC this Saturday. As always, thank you for your prayers!

No comments: