Choir and organ
First performance: Billesdon Church Choir; Choirmaster Stephen Baden-Fuller; organist Roger Marvin.
December 23 2007 St John the Baptist Church, Billesdon


December 23, 2007

Gavin’s Notes:

The Golden Carol of the Three Kings Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar

We saw the light shine out afar,
On Christmas in the morning,
And straight we knew Christ’s Star it was,
Bright beaming in the morning,

Then did we fall on bended knee,
On Christmas in the morning,
And praised the Lord, who’d let us see
His glory at its dawning.

Oh! Every thought be of His name,
On Christmas in the morning,
Who bore for us the grief and shame,
Affliction’s sharpest scorning.

And may we die, when death shall come,
On Christmas in the morning,
And see in Heav’n, our glorious home,
The Star of Christmas morning.

—Old English Carol

New Prince, New Pomp

Behold, a seely tender babe

In freezing winter night

In homely manger trembling lies–

Alas, a piteous sight!

The inns are full, no man will yield

This little pilgrim bed,

But forced he is with seely beasts

In crib to shroud his head.

Despise him not for lying there;

First, what he is enquire.

An orient pearl is often found

In depth of dirty mire.

Weigh not his crib, his wooden dish,

Nor beasts that by him feed;

Weigh not his mother’s poor attire

Nor Joseph’s simple weed.

This stable is a prince’s court,

This crib his chair of state,

The beasts are parcel of his pomp,

The wooden dish his plate.

The persons in that poor attire

His royal liveries wear;

The prince himself is come from heaven–

This pomp is prizëd there.

With joy approach, O Christian wight;

Do homage to thy king;

And highly prize his humble pomp

Which he from heaven doth bring.

Robert Southwell
( 1561-1595)

Gavin Bryars