For the Honolulu OCCUPY movement 2012- sung to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphonyread more
Hymn lyrics – general version and wedding/union version
(Can be sung to: Regent Square (Angels from the realms of glory)—Henry Thomas Smart, Westminster Abbey (Christ is made a sure foundation)—Henry Purcell, or Cwm Rhondda (Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer)—John Hughes)
Tune: In Dulci Jubilo
1. Our world cries out to be reborn:
a world of pain, all tossed and torn.
Babies born to mothers
scarce old enough to yet conceive,
like Jesus born to Mary,
so young, so fearful, so naive;
he was there before us,
Jesus born that way.
2. Our world cries out to be reborn:
where power abused is now the norm.
Leaders lead with violence
where life and innocence are slain,
as Herod murdered children
through fear of challenge in his reign;
Christ was there before us,
Jesus lived that day.
3. Our world of greed must free itself
from worship of material wealth.
Kings brought gifts to Jesus
and laid their treasure at his feet;
but he grew rich in spirit,
in poverty he was complete.
He was there before us,
there to show the Way.
4. Our world saw light on Christmas Day
when love drew breath amid the hay.
In the Bible pages
full of long-remembered tales,
through metaphor and story
the truth of Christmas still prevails:
Jesus is before us,
here to show the Way.
Jesus is before us,
he is here to stay!
Chris Avis Nov 2010
Notes and suggestions
The tempo should be a little slower than for ‘Good Christian men rejoice’, to suit the reflective nature of the words.
In some verses, lines 4 and/or 5 have an extra syllable compared to the usual length, requiring the original first note of affected lines to be sung as two crotchets instead of a single minim. This is a simple modification musically and should pose no problem.
The extra two lines at the end of verse 4 repeat the tune of the previous two lines, perhaps with a suitable rallentando.
If this is sung by a choir, the following suggestions might be useful, though probably inadvisable for congregational singing!
1. It could be effective to sing verse 2 a semitone lower, returning to ‘normal’ for verse 3.
2. Similarly, the more upbeat feel of the last verse might be enhanced by singing it in a higher key.
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