Over the next four Sundays I’ll post some Christmas songs.
Introducing new Christmas songs is like pushing honey uphill with a fork.
They only get sung for two or three weeks a year, so there’s only a very small window of time to introduce something new.
Again, because Christmas songs don ‘t get overused, no one is really sick of them. You’ll never hear someone say: ‘Away In A Manger Again’ or pester you for a new arrangement of the tune. The more traditional the better. Christian and non-Christian alike. The more traditional the better.
On that cheery note, if you’re looking for a new song for Christmas, try ‘Joy Has Dawned Upon The World’.
It’s full of Keith Getty and Stuart Townend goodness.
Strong folk music style tune.
The first and second verses are okay. The line in the second verse ‘Hands that set each star in place’ are reminiscent of Graham Kendrick’s ‘The Servant King’.
The third and fourth verses are especially strong. The lyrics in the third draw the gold/frankincense/myrrh – king/God/death parallel without the ‘We Three Kings’ theatricality. The fourth develops that with a progression that identifies Jesus as the ‘Son of Adam, Son of heaven,/ Given as a ransom, / Reconciling God to man, Christ our mighty Champion!’
A good first coming of Christ song should always reference the second coming/fulfilment of redemption. This helps avoid sentimentality.
I bought an accompanyment midi file from Worship Trax (mp3 soon available.
The lyrics: (pdf of the sheet music available at Kingsway Music)
Joy has dawned upon the world,
Promised from creation:
God’s salvation now unfurled,
Hope for every nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
Not with scenes of glory,
But a humble gift of love:
Jesus born of Mary.
Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels,
As the mighty Prince of Life
Shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
Shaped the earth in darkness,
Cling now to a mother’s breast,
Vulnerable and helpless.
Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
Gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story.
Gold, a King is born today,
Incense, God is with us,
Myrrh, His death will make a way,
And by His blood He’ll win us.
Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom,
Reconciling God and man,
Christ our mighty Champion!
What a Saviour, what a Friend,
What a glorious mystery:
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
Now the Lord of history.
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
Copyright © 2004 Thankyou Music
This YouTube is the CBC Choir, 2008 Christmas Concert. Nice orchestra and children’s choir. Bit slow for my tastes, but a good rendition of the song.