The Hallelujah Chorus is the most well-known portion of Geroge Frideric Handel’s “Messiah”. Handel used the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalter to compose his text. The “Messiah” was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742. The “Hallelujah Chorus” is at the end of part 2, which concentrates on the Passion of Jesus. This portion has become a […]
I have found two different stories for this hymn. The first states it is believed “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” was written Jamaican singer-songwriter Oswald Dunbar sometime in the early 1960s. Legend states he adapted the lyrics from an earlier Jamaican folk song “Livvy’s Song” to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The text follows the story as […]
“In dulci jubilo” means in sweet rejoicing in Latin. The original text is believed to have been written around 1328 by Heinrich Seuse, a German mystic. According to folklore, “Seuse heard angels sing these words and joined them in a dance of worship.” The tune first appears in a manuscript dating around 1400. Many historians believe the melody may have […]
Mary’s Boy Child is a popular Christmas carol written in 1956 by Jester Hairston. Hairston roomed with a friend who asked him to write a song for a birthday party. He wrote the song with a calypso rhythm for the culture of those attending and titled the song “He Pone and Chocolate Tea”. However, the song was never recorded in this […]
A great and mighty wonder is a little-known Christmas Carol. The hymn is German in origin. The hymn was written by St. Germanus I. He was born in Constantinople of a patrician family in 634 Greece. He was ordained in Constantinople and subsequently became bishop of Cyzicus. He was present at the Synod of Constantinople in 712, which restored the […]
As with Gladness Men of Old is considered an Epiphany hymn more than a Christmas hymn. William Chatterton Dix wrote the hymn on January 6, 1859 while recovering from an extended illness. He was bed bound at his home in Glasgow, Scotland and unable to attend that morning’s Epiphany service at church. While reading the account of the Epiphany or […]
There’s A Star in the East is a Christmas Carol. Reginald Heber is credited with writing the song. He was in 1783 England and named after his father. He professed his admiration of the hymns of John Newton and William Cower and one of the first High Church Anglicans to write his own hymns. In 1811, he was appointed Bishop […]
Bethlehem Morning was written by Morris Chapman. The song was made popular by Sandi Patty. Chapman was born in Mississippi in 1940. He served as pastor to several churches in Texas before becoming CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1992-2010. The song takes one to the morning of Jesus birth. Merry Christmas!
The song is a traditional spiritual of African American origin. The origin of the song is unknown. One source claims sister Margaret Allison of the Angelic Gospel Singers, a 1950s performing group, wrote the song. However, this has not been proven. She did write the song “Glory to the Newborn King,” which many believe may have morphed into Jesus, Oh […]
The Gift Goes On was written by Claire Cloninger and Ron Harris. Brenton-Benson Music and Lillenas Publishing published the song in 1974. The song was made popular by Sandi Patty. We are reminded through the lyrics that the gift of Christmas is Jesus and continues to give and go on even after Christmas time.
Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming is a Christmas carol of German origin. The carol was originally known as “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” which means a rose has sprung up. The rose in the text is symbolic of the Virgin Mary. The original hymn had two verses, expressing the prophecy of Isaiah in the first verse and the symbolism […]
While by My Sheep was a traditional German carol by Nach Friedrich von Spee. The hymn was written in 1623 and known as Als ich bei meinen Schafen wacht. Hugo Jüngst arranged the text to a traditional German melody. Theodore Baker translated the carol into English.
A Christmas Carol was written and composed by Charles Ives in 1897. The song appeared in his collection 114 songs which was published in 1922. He self-published these never before seen songs. By the early 1920s, he decided to publish more than 150 abandoned compositions. Charles Ives was born in 1874 in Danbury, Connecticut. His love of music was inherited […]