Christmas Sung Simply (Chants from Walkabouts - 18)

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D2 A2 B2 A2 G2 E3
E1 E1 D2 G2 F#2 G3
D2 A2 B2 A2 G2 E3
D2 A2 B2 A2 G2 E3
E1 E1 D2 G2 F#2 G3
D2 A2 B2 A2 G2 E3
E1 E1 D2 G2 F#2 G3

D2 A2 B2 A2 G2 E3
E2 D2 G2 F#2 G3
D2 A2 B2 A2 G2 E3
E2 D2 G2 F#2 G3)

As gospellers have said,
Beneath signalling skies,
On land dusty to tread,
A trough in a stable
Was the strawy first-bed
Of a divine baby -
The forgiving Godhead.

A season for new hope -
There then, and here now;
The yuletide of goodwill -
There then, and here now.

In respect of this chance,
Beneath bright or dark skies,
Faith’s the star that we glance
Attending Christ’s churches
And trying to enhance,
With singing and ritual,
Our God-loving stance.


(C) David Franks 2003


Tees to Tyne: first impressions (Chants from Walkabouts - 17) ►


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David Franks

Wed 30th Nov 2011 18:00

Thanks for the feedback, M.C: I have offered it to one cathedral's Director of Music, in the hope that it might be set for a choir by someone who, unlike me, is classically trained; there was some initial interest, so I may try at another cathedral sometime..?

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 28th Nov 2011 13:08

This is a very laudable contribution to what I consider to be the "carol" genre. My own thought is that carols are best when they
have a simple memorable tune & "lift"/chorus
to follow - and in that vein I think that the tune held in the "italics" would make an excellent main theme. I don't think that going off "at a tangent" so to speak in the opening stanza(verse) as written/sung e.g.
in the line = "A trough in a stable" helps as
it sounds wayward to my ear rather than keeping
with the essentials of any carol - tuneful
and "regular" familiarity.
I think the work would be better served by keeping to a 4-line style and using a line like "Came the Rich and the Wise" to rhyme with
"skies" - then seek a change in tune for the
"lift"/chorus after each stanza and re-write accordingly. There is certainly a great opportunity to add a tuneful "lift"/chorus)after each verse/stanza - with words adjusted as necessary. But that's purely a personal
view. I can certainly hear that theme I heard
in the italics being sung full blast by a excellent basis for any carol.
HOWEVER - if I am wrong and this is merely intended as some personal Christmas "thoughts" and not a carol, then fine. Ignore the above!
I write as a songwriter/lyricist and wish only to pass on a few observations, no more.
Best wishes.

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