11 Dec 2016

Hymns on Sunday, 11 December 2016

From Hymns on Sunday, 7:30 am on 11 December 2016

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

A selection of traditional and modern hymns. In this week's programme marking the third Sunday of Advent, you can hear the story behind Lewis Redner's tune 'St Louis', the first tune to be written for O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks.

Pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), in flower, Manukau City, New Zealand. This is the variety "Aurea", a yellow-flowering cultivar of M. excelsa, a variant that occurs naturally on Mōtiti Island, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), in flower, Manukau City, New Zealand. This is the variety "Aurea", a yellow-flowering cultivar of M. excelsa, a variant that occurs naturally on Mōtiti Island, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Photo: Creative Commons, image by Kahuroa


Artist: Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, Grete Pedersen (dir)
Words/Music: Anon trans P Hognestad/Anon harm Praetorius
Recording: BIS SACD 2029

[Translation below by Henry Baker]

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah t’was foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Saviour,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.


Artist: Haydn and Handel Society, Harry Christophers (dir)
Words/Music: Brooks/Redner
Recording: Coro COR 16117

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel


Artist: Cambridge Singers, City of London Sinfonia, John Rutter (dir)
Words/Music: Rutter/Rutter
Recording: Collegium 880111

Lyrics not available


Artist: Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (dir)
Words/Music: De Brébeuf/Trad
Recording: Collegium 880111

‘Twas in the moon of winter-time
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wandering hunters heard the hymn:
"Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria."

Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp'd His beauty round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high...
"Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria."

The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory
On the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free,
O sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of earth and heaven
Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.
"Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria."


Artist: Whanganui Schola Sacra, Mark Leicester (dir)
Words/Music: Forsman/Mews
Recording: Private CD 161

Now crimson, crimson Christmas trees
Pohutukawa rim our seas
And flower to flame on every shore
For joy of him whom Mary bore.

Babe so poor and small
Jesus God of all
O with us abide
This holy Christmas-tide.

Long raise, O trees about our land,
Your crimson sign on every strand
That we may tell each Christmas morn
Why Jesus was of Mary born.

Such trees gave wood to make his cot,
And all his toys from trees he got,
And when he came to ply a trade
He shaped from trees the things he

Because a tree had brought us doom,
Was Jesus born of Mary’s womb,
To blossom high on Calvary’s tree
The crimson bloom that makes us free.


Artist: Graduate Choir, Terence Maskell (dir), Pene Pati (tenor solo), Philip Smith (organ)
Words/Music: Trad trans Ramsay/Trad arr Willcocks
Recording: Atoll ACD207

Whence is the goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away,
never the like did come a-blowing,
Shepherds, in flow'ry fields of May, 
Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing, 
Stealing our senses all away.

What is that light so brilliant, breaking
Here in the night across our eyes.
Never so bright, the day-star waking,
Started to climb the morning skies!
What is that light so brilliant, breaking,
Here in the night across our eyes.

Bethlehem! there in manger lying,
Find your Redeemer haste away,
Run ye with eager footsteps vieing!
Worship the Saviour born today.
Bethlehem! there in manger lying,
Find your Redeemer haste away.


Artist: Sings Harry
Words/Music: Murray/Madden
Recording: Atoll ACD207

Child of Christmas story,
stable straw and star,
small and sweet and gentle,
tell us who you are.

Child whose baby finger
round our own is curled,
come to melt our hearts,
and come to change the world.

Child of Jew and gentile,
child of white and black,
teach us how to love you,
teach us what we lack.

Child of Mary's courage,
birthed in human pain,
tell us what your name is,
be our hope again.


Artist: Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, Malcolm Archer (dir), Huw Williams (organ)
Words/Music: Alexander/Gauntlett
Recording: Coro COR 16085

Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild;
Jesus Christ, her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor and meek and lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

Jesus is our childhood’s pattern;
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak and helpless;
tears and smiles like us he knew;
and he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that child so dear and gentle
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

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