A Christmas Cantata

TEXT

Lyrics and Music by Richard Trythall

Narration from the Gospel according to St. Luke

 

ANNUNCIATION:

God is born Man, like you and me.
Christ here on Earth, like you and me

NARRATOR: In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
 
NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM:

Oh Yeah! When Caesar Augustus makes a decree
Oh Yeah! You better obey it quickaly.
Right! Yeah! He's got all the army, the infantry
Oh Yeah! He knows how to force you, to make you behave
and respect all his orders.

I s'pose you know the story quite well
About the journey of Joe and Mary.
They really weren't so happy to go
And yet they couldn't say no.

It would be easier to stay right at home
But they had duties to God and Ceasar.
And so they went, it can't have been fun,
A hundred miles in the sun.

Now they'd been walkin', and walkin', for long, long days
On the road that leads from Galilee.
Now they'd been waitin', and waitin', through long, long nights
For the gates that stand at Bethlehem.

And when they got to the place they should be
They couldn't relax, the way they ought to,
"I think you know", said Mary to Joe,
"We need a room in a hurry."

So Joe went looking from hotel to inn.
That's how he found that, they just weren't bookin'.
There was no space nor friendaly face.
He shoulda made a reservation.

Now they'd been walkin', and walkin', for long, long days
On the road that leads from Galilee.
Now they'd been waitin', and waitin', through long, long nights
For the gates that stand at Bethlehem.

The Holy Couple, they hadn't much choice,
The time was pressing, no time for guessing
And so they took the stable nook
On Sol'mon Boulevard five.

Now they'd been walkin', and walkin', for long, long days
On the road that leads from Galilee.
Now they'd been waitin', and waitin', through long, long nights
For the gates that stand at Bethlehem.

Oh Yeah! When Caesar Augustus makes a decree
Oh Yeah! You better obey it quickaly.
Right! Yeah! He's got all the army, the infantry
Oh Yeah! He knows how to force you, to make you behave
and respect all he says to do.

NARRATOR: And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

MARY'S LULLABY:

My first born child, my baby son,
Mother's near, watching over you.
I'm standing beside you, I'll always be here.
Now rest and sleep, sleep.

The Angel said you are the Lord,
"Born the King of Israel".
And yet when I see you,
And yet when I hold you,
You're so soft, tender and frail,
Helpless and weak, gentle and mild.

I know you are a special Child,
Son of God, Saviour to be,
But when you are hungry,
And when you are tired,
You'll always turn to me.

NARRATOR: And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them:
 
GABRIEL'S SONG:

God is born Man!
"Be not afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings".
Christ come to Earth!
"Be not afraid, Good tidings of great joy.
Joy will come to all the people,
For today is born this day in the city of David
A Saviour who is Christ the Lord."

Lord God Almighty!
"And this shall be a sign for you, You will find a babe"
Like you and me.
"In swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

NARRATOR: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 
 
GLORIA:

"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace, good will to man."

NARRATOR: When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing which the lord has made known to us."

SHEPHERDS IN THE FIELDS:

I feel something strange, the mist in the air
seems a live with wings beating and floating away.
I saw something weird, the cloud in the sky seemed full, full of men
singing and praising, praising and glorying God.

The angels told of the Christ Child
born this day for all people
Here for you and for me,
Born our Saviour.

I sense something odd, the light in the night
Is brighter than day, what's going, what's going on?
You saw what I saw, angels all on high, and you're wond'ring too,
What is it? Where is he? Why did they? - if it be true.

The angels told of the Christ Child
born this day for all people
Here for you and for me,
Born our Saviour.

Go to Bethlehem, run to Bethlehem,
Don't stop, Bethlehem, that's where the action is now!
It's not far away, tonight's star away, we'll run all the way
Worshipping, praising, praising and glorying God.

The angels told of the Christ Child
born this day for all people
Here for you and for me,
Born our Saviour.

Go to Bethlehem,
Run to Bethlehem,
Don't stop, Bethlehem

NARRATOR: And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

SHEPHERDS' CAROL:

See the stable, small and humble, birth place of our God.
See the straw and the hay and the grain, and the cattle all around.
Sing and be happy for today is born our King.
Dance and be merry, 'tis the first time Christmas Day.

See the child in the manger, lying peacefully.
He's the King and the pow'r and the glory forever without end.
Sing and be happy for today is born our King.
Dance and be merry, 'tis the first time Christmas Day.

See him! Who? the Christ Child.
See him! Where? the Manger.
See Him! See Him! Look! See Him!
Born is Christ the Saviour.
Born is Christ the King.
See Him! Look! See Him! See Him! Look! Yes!
See the Babe, the Chirst Child.
See him there, the Saviour.
Born this day our King,
King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

See the child in the manger, lying peacefully.
He's the King and the pow'r and the glory forever without end.
Sing and be happy for today is born our King.
Dance and be merry, 'tis the first time Christmas Day.

See his Mother, standing over Him, watching tenderly.
See her smiling and singing and holding Him, Mother of God.
Sing and be happy for today is born our King.
Dance and be merry, 'tis the first time Christmas Day.

See him! Who? the Christ Child.
See him! Where? the Manger.
See Him! See Him! Look! See Him!
Born is Christ the Saviour
Born is Christ the King.
See Him! Look! See Him! See Him! Look! Yes!
See the Babe, the Chirst Child
See him there, the Saviour.
Born this day our King
King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

See the child in the manger, lying peacefully.
He's the King and the pow'r and the glory forever without end.

NARRATOR: And when they saw it, they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

ANNUNCIATION REPRISE:

God is born Man, like you and me,
Christ here on Earth, like you and me.

BENEDICTION:

Love's peace to you, and you and you,
God is Love, within us all.
Our names are so many and yet we're just one,
All one in Man and God.

The angels sang, the shepherds heard, for us all, long years ago.
But Love is today, and Love is tomorrow,
so strong, lasting and pure, forceful and bright, tender and true.

Love's peace to you, and you and you,
Christ was born within us all.
Our names are so many and yet we're just one,
All one in Man and God.

Go to Bethlehem, run to Bethlehem
Don't stop, Bethlehem, that's where the action is now!
It's not far away, to night's star away, we'll run all the way
Worshipping, praising, praising and glorying God.

The angel told of the Christ Child
Born this day for all people,
Here for you and for me.
Born our Saviour King.

(Dedicated to Rev. John O. Patterson and Donald L. Stewart, two of the Founders of  St. Stephen's School, in its tenth anniversary, Rome, August 1974)

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Home/Table of Contents/Musical Tour/Recordings as pianist/Recordings of Compositions/ Recent Performances/ Recent Compositions/ Reviews as Pianist/  Reviews of Compositions/Repertoire as pianist/List of Compositions/ Curriculum/Links/Contact