05 December 2012

Sing We All of Christmas: Once in Royal David's City

It is not known whether Henry J. Gauntlett was attached to any of the three places in England bearing this tune's name.  His harmonization of IRBY found today in the Seventh-day Adventist hymnal has four parts, all of which are interesting to sing.  If you are an alto, you may find that exciting news, indeed.
The text, written by Cecil Frances Alexander, is meant to clearly and simply explain who Jesus is, how He came to earth, and how He will return.  It is not without admonition--encouraging all Christian children to take after their Master.
Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed;
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.
He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly
Lived on earth, our Savior holy.
And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly mother
In whose gentle arms He lay.
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.
And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
Form that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above;
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, 149.  See also the Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal.

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