“Away in a Manger” (Kirkpatrick/Gjeilo), “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (Gardner), & “What Sweeter Music” (Herrick/Rutter)

“Away in a Manger” is one of the most popular Christmas carols known today.  Some of the first verses were published in 1882 and the Mueller melody appeared in 1887.  Throughout history the song has undergone many word and title changes as well as misattributed origins. Melodically there are two generally accepted versions of “Away in a Manger” (Mueller and Cradle Song). LCS is presenting Ola Gjeillo’s 2012 a cappella arrangement of the “Cradle Song” melody for solo voice (Rebecca Smith, alto) with chorus underscoring.

The English carol “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” has most likely been around for many years prior to its first written appearance in 1833.  The lyrics tell the story of Jesus Christ as told from His own voice as if His life is characterized as a dance.  John Garner published his rhythmic arrangement of this Medieval dance song in 1966 and LCS is accompanied by organ and percussion.

Robert Herrick penned the beautiful words to “What Sweeter Music” in the 17th century.  John Rutter’s 1987 tender setting of this song reminds us that there is nothing greater that we can give to our Heavenly King than to return the sweet gift of music.  “What Sweeter Music” reminds us “exactly what carols are for and what Christmas is all about” (Rutter).

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
What Sweeter Music

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