Nate Wilson 

Christmas

 

If you click on any of the underlined titles, it should play a 15-second sample of the song. In order to compress these samples to 40kb, I had to noticeably diminish the sound quality of the original recording, but at least it should download quickly! Click here to request a CD or MP3!


AMAHL'S PIPE

From G. Menotti's opera Amahl & The Night Visitors.

When I was in fifth grade, I played the part of Amahl in this opera and learned to play the opening tune on my recorder so well that when I acted the part, a couple of people complimented me instead of the oboe player in the orchestra who actually played the tune!

 

ANGELS FROM HEAVEN

Traditional words and melody.
VOCALS: Josh, Beni, Amos, Peter, Grace Anne & Irene, Accompaniment: music box of unknown origin.

Angels from heaven
bring good news
Christ is born!

 

ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID'S CITY

By Mrs. C.F. Alexander and H.J. Gauntlett

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 mean and lowly lived on earth our Saviour holy.

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.

 

LISTEN LORDLINGS UNTO ME

By H.R. Bramley & Gascon, 16th Century

Listen lordlings unto me, a tale to you I'll tell,
which as on this night of glee in David's town befell.
Joseph came from Nazareth with Mary that sweet maid.
Weary were they nigh to death and for a lodging prayed.

Sing high, sing low,
sing high, sing low, sing to and fro.
Go tell it out with speed!
Cry out and shout all round about that Christ is Lord indeed!

Shepherds lay afield that night to keep the silly sheep.
Hosts of angels shining bright came down from heaven's steep.
Tidings, tidings unto you: to you the Christ is born!
Purer than the drops of dew and brighter than the morn.

Onward, then, the angels sped, the shepherds onward went.
God was in His manger bed, in worship low they bent.
In the morning see ye mind, my masters one and all
at the altar Him to find who lay within the stall.

 

KEEP SILENT

There is a tension between the exuberance of worshipping the True and Living God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and the hushed reverence we should have in the presence of Almighty God. The shepherds must have felt this ambivalence themselves after the angels visited them.

 

HOPE

Bass guitar: Andy Baker

I don't want to join the mainstream and sing the giddy language of good time,
but I cannot join the ranks of those who only see from here a downward climb.
I see the present reality: the filth, corruption, and indignity,
and yet I yearn for what I'm sure will come,
when every knee will bow to God and all His servants are consumed in glory.

There is a God--A true and living God.
He has written words that are absolutely true.
I have a hope, therefore, not a wishful thought or a happy feeling,
but something I press on to and know it will come true.

I remember what it was like to be a boy on Christmas Eve.
The excitement of what I might find there under the tree.
But that's not the kind of hope I have--maybe it should be.
This is more like a bedrock foundation that my tired hands clutch a piece of.
A grip that gives reality in this spinning world.

 

SWEET LITTLE JESUS BOY

Traditional Spiritual

Sweet little Jesus boy, born in a manger,
Sweet little holy child, And we didnít know who you was.
Didnít know youíd come to save us - to take our sins away,
Our eyes was blind, we could not see,
And we didnít know who you was.
Sweet little Jesus boy, born long time ago,
Sweet little holy child, And we didnít know who you was.

 

CHRISTMAS SONG

Composed spontaneously with Fredrick Herrman. BGV's by Simple Truth

Two thousand years ago, God sent the King.
Son of a poor man, into a manger.
He came to take away our sins,
And rule the nations with a scepter.

It's the song of the angels;
It's the Christmas song!
He will reign forever
It's the Christmas song!

He is the branch of Jesse;
He is the son of Man.
He is the root come down from David,
and he will take us to the promised land!

So praise the Lord He has done it;
He sent us the victory!
He sent Jesus Christ His only son
to come and set us free.

All the angels announced His birth,
And told the shepherds to find Jesus.
The wise men came with gifts of gold and myrrh,
For the child King is with us.

 

DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

I still remember the giddy excitement of finishing my college exams and packing all my belongings in the crisp December air atop Lookout Mountain, Georgia, eager to go back home to my parents house for Christmas!

 

CRY OF A TINY BABE

By Bruce Cockburn, 1991 Golden Mountain Music Co

Mary has a child without the help of a man.
Joseph gets upset because he doesn't understand.
Angel comes to Joseph in a powerful dream,
says "God did this and you're part of His scheme."

Joseph comes to Mary with his hat in his hand.
Says, "Forgive me, I thought you'd been with some other man."
She said, "What if I had been? but I wasn't anyway.
And--guess what--I felt the baby kick today!"

Like a stone on the surface of a still river,
driving the ripples on forever,
redemption rips through the surface of time with the cry of a tiny babe.

The child is born in the fullness of time.
Three wise astrologers take note of the signs.
Come to pay respects to the fragile little King
got pretty close to wrecking everything.

Because the governing body of the promised land
was that of Herod, a paranoid man.
When he heard there's a baby born king of the Jews,
sends death squads to kill all male children under two.

But that same bright angel warned the parents in a dream.
They head off to the border and they get away clean.

There are others who know about this miracle birth.
The humblest of people catch a glimpse of their worth.
For it isn't to the palace that the Christ Child comes,
but to Shepherds, street people, hookers and bums.

So the message is clear if you have ears to hear.
Forgiveness is given for your guilt and your fear.
It's a Christmas gift that you don't have to buy;
there's a future shining in a baby's eyes!

 

IN THE STABLE

This is a song composed by James Ward for the children at New City Fellowship, our church in Chattanooga, TN. BGV's and hand motions: Josh Beni, and Amos Wilson

In the stable, in the hay,
see the baby Jesus Who was born today.
Emanuel, Emanuel!
Glory in the highest--for the King!

God is with us, Promised Word.
It's the greatest story that we've ever heard.
Emanuel, Emanuel!
Glory in the highest--for the King!

 

INTO THE FRAY

Can you imagine what was going through His mind as Jesus stood poised on the brink of heaven, about to take the plunge of becoming a baby human?

 

BABY IN THE MANGER

Nevermind the babe in the manger,
Just give me nostalgia and tinsel.
I want to be this year's Christmas arranger,
Making my list with a pad and pencil
To stake my claims on Christmas day.
Oh don't you see we've all gone astray!
What is the price that we're gonna pay?

Baby in the manger, tell me how can it be:
Did You endure the danger to come and set me free?
Baby in the manger, Messiah, a Godsend,
To this world a stranger, but to my heart a Friend.

I want to have a real, live Christmas,
Like I remember from long ago.
Bring the whole family for a big Christmas dinner,
And please, God, let it snow!
Well, all of these are wonderful things To celebrate the birth of the King of Kings,
But keep in mind the heart of the matter I sing:

I want to have a childlike wonder
At the awesomeness of justice and love;
The law that came in holy thunder
Came as a baby born from above!
By Your grace, You will send us Your peace
To everyone who repents and believes
In Your kingdom that will never cease!

 

WHAT HER HEART REMEMBERED

By Michael Card & Scott Brasher, c. 1991 Birdwing Music/Mole End Music

Out in the stable-yard, she sees a glow.
Could it be angel-light? How could she know?
Shepherds stand wondering, afraid to come in,
but the baby who's born tonight will free them all to never fear again.

As He lies in a cattle trough, she kneels by His side.
Sweet baby breathing, soft infant sighs.
Soft sounds of swallowing as soft fingers part.
Marvelous memories, she pondered them and hid them in her heart.

Like a good mother would, she learns His cries.
If he'd awake from a belly-ache from hunger or fright.
But now and then, and sometimes when the dark would descend,
He would weep a dark so deep, for all her love, she couldn't comprehend.

Her warm, loving carpenter--his strong gentle hands,
his dark and bewildered eyes--could he understand
that the baby she's given them is theirs for a time,
but in truth came to give Himself the Treasure and the Ransom of mankind.

 

CHANGE OF SEASON

 

CAROL OF THE CHILDREN

Words and music by John Rutter. This reminds me of the Madrigal Christmas Dinners that we would put on at College, because Steve Lawton would sing this song at them.

One for the star in the sky over Bethlehem,
Two for the hands that will rock Him to sleep,
Three for the kings, bringing gold, bringing myrrh, bringing incense,
Four for the angels that watched over His bedside.

Blue for the robe of the sweet virgin Mary,
White for the dawn of the first Christmas day;
Red for the blood that He shed on Good Friday.
Black for the tomb where He rested until Easter.

Lullabye, sweet Jesus asleep.
Angels and shepherds, their watch on Him keep.
Lullaby, He soon will awake, for the oxen are stirring, and morning will break.

 

WINTER SONG

By Fernando Ortega. ©1999 DeJamesSolo Music/Word Music/John Andrew Schreiner Music/ASCAP/Big Moose Music/BMI

Thrushes stir in the trees and hide from the moonlight,
High on the stony ridge all is still,
The whole world is waiting - silent as the icy stars,
A holy winter to cheer our darkened hearts.

Jesus our lord and King born in a stable,
Wrapped in rags asleep on a bed of straw,
Though He is from heaven, still it is enough for Him,
He who made the mountains and will come again to reign.

O blessed night, Bright angels are singing,
For heavenís light is lying in a manger bed,
Sweet Mary she kisses His head and sings a lullabye.

O boundless mercy of God beautiful mystery,
That braying donkeys sheep and birds of the air,
And shepherds and sages all have come this night,
To welcome Him the Redeemer of the world.

 

TO GOD ALL PRAISE & GLORY

Schutz, Cox, Bohemian Brethren Gesangbuch

Praise be to God Who reigns on high, the God of all Creation.
The God of power, the God of Love, the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul He fills, and every faithless murmur stills:
To God all praise and glory.

What God's almighty power hath made, His gracious mercy keepeth;
by morning glow or evening shade, His watchful eye never sleepeth.
Within the kingdom of His might, Lo all is just and all is right.
To God all praise and glory.

The Lord is never far away, but through all grief distressing,
an ever present help and stay, our peace and joy and blessing.
As with a mother's tender hand, He leads His own, His chosen band.
To God all praise and glory.

This all my toilsome way along, I sing aloud Thy praises,
that men may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises,
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart, both soul and body bear your part.
To God all praise and glory!

 

BOY'S SONG

I was skimming through my four-track recordings at double speed, and ran across the guitar tracks for the "Boy's Song" I did for Family Album, and it grabbed me. My fourth son was born while I was working on this album project, and I look forward to celebrating Christmas with my family and making it special for my boys!

 

CREDITS:

Unless otherwise noted, I composed, played, sang, and recorded all you hear. Almost all of it was done with a Tascam 4-track tape player, a ragged Sony dynamic microphone, and a Takamine acoustic guitar. I also used kitchen bowls, maracas, claves, mouth sounds, bongos, tambourines, a toy drum, and the box of my guitar for percussion tracks. Thanks to Andy, the Mayers, and Greg Purnell for the instruments and their help with playing some of them! Thanks to Paula and my boys for sharing your time with this project. And thank you, Lord Jesus, for making Christmas happen and for giving us the privilege of singing Your praises!

If you like what you hear, check out the other albums I've made at http://www.NateWilsonFamily.Net/#Music

Emanuel = God + with us


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