Angels We Have Heard On High
An instrumental album of classic Christmas Songs and Carols, arranged in contemporary styles using keyboards and a Mac.
Some Notes About The Arrangements
"Angels We Have Heard On High" An album for a joyful season ought to begin with a joyful song.
"On Jordan’s Banks" The message of John the Baptist and this Advent Hymn is that “the Lord is nigh.”
In this arrangement, the message plays to a world caught up in the trappings of Christmas. In memory of my Father.
"Of The Father’s Love Begotten" As I boy, I knew what it meant to love as a son. As a man, when my
daughter was born, I learned what it means to love as a father. For Jessi.
"O Little Town of Bethlehem" I tried to get the attitude of the music in line with the latitude of the little town. There was no snow on the ground that first Christmas, at least not in Bethlehem. And Bethlehem has palm trees!
"Away In A Manger" Imagine two musicians about to play this song together, only to find out that they don’t agree on the melody. The only thing they agree on is the last four notes. Differing traditions collide as they each insist on their own version, launching into what might be titled “Dueling Mangers.” A surprise is in store for them as they discover that their differences actually compliment one another.
"We Three Kings" Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The first two gifts are fine for a baby shower. Good job, Kings One and Two, but King Three? Really? Embalming supplies? That was how myrrh was used. Who invited this guy? You’ll know when his verse comes up in this arrangement: The music dies. The third King grimly reminds us of the reason for the birth we are celebrating. But death is not the final word, either for this arrangement or the life of the baby.
"That Mourns In Lonely Exile Here (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)" God’s answer to the weeping of this world is the cry of a baby. Don’t be alarmed when you hear a woman weeping in the beginning of this arrangement, (the world) and don’t jump when you hear a baby, (you know who) crying at the end. For Sandi.
"Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head" I first heard this Shaker carol when I was ten years old. Every Christmas, the
women’s group at our church would have a tea party for the women living in a local mental health facility. I was accustomed to being dragged to all kinds women’s group events but this one always made me a little uneasy- maybe even a little afraid of these people that were so different from what I was used to. (But that was still better than being bored out of my mind like I usually was.) This particular year, one of the residents wanted to sing a song for the group. She sang, “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head,” and the song has stayed with me ever since.
So has the lesson that people are people no matter what their circumstance.
"Go Tell It on the Mountain" When you shout something from a mountaintop, you aren’t trying to keep it a secret.
As the little band in this arrangement joyfully declares that “Jesus Christ is born,” they hear their message echoed back to them. Someone is telling it from their own mountain!
"Oh Come, All Ye Faithful" I came up with the counter melody for this arrangement years and years (and years) ago. This CD gave me a chance to finally use it.
"Silent Night" “Stille Nacht” is how my mother first learned this German Christmas Carol. This arrangement is in her memory.
"We Wish You A Merry Christmas" A sincere wish for you and your family, a bit of a joke, and something of a tribute.
For Abbey. (as in “Road”)