Hi all! I hope that those of you up here with me in the northern hemisphere are staying safe and warm this week. Though it's difficult to imagine as I type with icy fingers, I also hope that you who hail from the south are enjoying some warm, mild summer days. A new year has come upon us, and just like that 2016 is history! More on that later...meanwhile, I have a long overdue Christmas song to offer.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is one of my favorite Christmas carols. Unlike many other seasonal hymns, it has a mournful sound, almost a musical expression of the deep longing for a Savior. Its lyrics have origins the in Latin O Antiphons (responsory chants) of the names of Christ which were sung or recited during Advent. We now sing a song that was translated into English by an Anglican priest named John Mason Neale. The music it is set to is also quite old, a 15th century French processional melody.
All that being said, this song is a treat to play on the hammered dulcimer, though I don't do it justice. Despite my amateur skill, I am glad to have only needed two takes to get through the song without playing the wrong notes, as I often do. ;) Please enjoy my presentation, and read along with a copy of the lyrics if you wish!
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.