Spiritual & Gospel Musicians-9

CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY MUSIC

PAGE 9: MCCRARY SISTERS * WATERSON:CARTHY * WINTER HARPS * ALISON KRAUSS & YO-YO MA * AARON NEVILLE * STEELEYE SPAN * JOHNNY CASH & NEIL YOUNG * MADDY PRIOR & CARNIVAL BAND * PAUL HORN * MAHALIA JACKSON * ANAIS MITCHELL * ELVIS PRESLEY * ANNIE LENNOX * STING * MEDAEVAL BAEBES * LYDIANS * WATERSONS * SHELBY LYNN * THE BRITON ENSEMBLE * ROY ORBISON * CHANTICLEER * MARVIN GAYE * SARAH JAROSZ * TEMPTATIONS * JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO * CHANTICLEER * GILBERT PRICE * ROY ORBISON, JOHNNY CASH,  JERRY LEE LEWIS & CARL PERKINS * CUSTER LA RUE & BALTIMORE CONSORT

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Performed by the Winter Harp Ensemble. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a translation of the Catholic Latin text (“Veni, veni, Emmanuel”) . Its origins are unclear, it is thought that the antiphons are from at least the 8th Century, but “Veni, veni Emmanuel” may well be 12th Century in origin. The text is based on the biblical prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 that states that God will give Israel a sign that will be called Immanuel (Lit.: God with us). Matthew 1:23 states fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The large guitar shaped instrument is known as an organistrum and possibly dates from around the end of the 10th century. The tall instrument is called a psaltery, and this dates from around 2800 BC, though these were almost certainly always plucked. Bowing the instrument is a relatively recent technique. –St. Expeditus

From Winter Harp’s CD Christmas Night.  Sung by Lori Pappajohn who also wrote the English lyrics and chorus. Features temple bowls and organistrum drone, the latter being a replica of a 12th century Spanish instrument.–Winter Harp

Featuring Maddy Prior, vocals:


22-song playlist of Christmas songs:

Playlist of full album.  Flute versions of carols:



A cover of the traditional holiday carol with lyrics based on “Christmas Bells” written in 1863 by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This version is sung by Anaïs Mitchell and produced by Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett. Anaïs says of this recording: “I’ve always loved this honest and uplifting song (“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”). The words were written long ago, but they ring true for anyone who has ever despaired for the world– and then, suddenly, had their faith in it renewed. Love wins.”

CHRISTMAS BELLS

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound 
    The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! 

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
    "For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song 
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

SONG OF THE MAGI

when we came
we came through the cold
we came bearing gifts of gold
and frankincense and myrrh
and there were trumpets playing
there were angels looking down
on a West Bank town
and he so loved the world

wore we then our warmest capes
wore we then our walking shoes
opened wide the city gates
and let us through

a child is born
born in Bethlehem
born in a cattle pen
a child is born on the killing floor
and still he no crying makes
still as the air is he
lying so prayerfully there
waiting for the war
welcome home my child
your home is a checkpoint now
your home is a border town
welcome to the brawl
and life ain't fair my child
put your hands in the air my child
slowly now single file
now up against the wall

wear we now our warmest coats
wear we now our walking shoes
open wide the gates of hope
and let us through

when we came
we came through the cold
we came bearing gifts of gold
and frankincense and myrrh
and there were shepherds praying
there were lions laying down
with the lambs in a West Bank town
and he so loved the world

by Anais Mitchell



Playlist of entire Sting album (and then some) If On a Winter’s Night:


London-based medieval singing group Mediaeval Baebes:


John Rickford recommends the Lydians performing a Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago) “Hallelujah Chorus” (Bach):

Sung acapella by the English family folk group, the Watersons:

Entire album of holiday music:


Full album of Country Christmas songs:


His only Christmas song (written by Willie Nelson):



Canticleer men’s chorus from San Francisco:

Chanticleer again:

Baltimore Consort featuring Custer La Rue: