Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A New Christmas Carol

Just when you thought all the great Christmas songs and carols had been written, along comes this new item from composer Gerald McClain:

This Christmas Joy
by Gerald McClain

In swaddling clothes to us arrive,
This Jesus Christ, our hopes revive!
In Marys arms, her little boy:
This tiny babe, death to destroy.

Was not in clouds, come down to reign
But from a girl in labor pain; (Revelation 12: 2)
Not in a throne was he to lay
But in a manger full of hay.

Welcome to Him from us today,
This Christmas joy, in us to stay.

From foreign lands their homage paid:
To Bethlehem, the star did say.
Fall prostrate where did shepherds come;
Laid out their gifts a costly sum.

Then in a dream: from Herods gaze,
Another path to home was made.
A furious king proclaimed forthright
That innocents shall loose their life.

Though in a world with evil known,
This Christmas joy, Love has outshone.

Give glory to the Fathers Son:
Begotten of the Holy One.
Though evry part is from the same,
The Word to us in flesh he came.

A preview of the coming years,
A final act to wipe all tears:
From nursling small to mature man,
Fulfillment of the Godheads plan.

All praise and laud and glorious powr,
This Christmas joy, tis Jesses flowr.

Gerald McClain
© 2005 Musique de McClain

I think this piece has a lovely "neo-medieval" or "neo-Renaissance" feel that appeals to my antiquarian sensibilities. I like older, more out of the way hymns and carols that haven't yet been turned into Muzak, and that you don't hear every time you go to that most godless of places, the mall.

Mr. McClain has also written a French language composition "Une voix dans Rama" (A Voice in Ramah) commemorating the Slaughter of the Innocents described in Matthew 2: 18 (Douay-Rheims version):
A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Hat tip to Patrick Archbold of Creative Minority Report for posting some Christmas clips from YouTube, which in turn prompted Mr. McClain to post links to his compositions.

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