Posts Tagged ‘appalachian christmas music’

Traditional Folk Christmas Music Courtesy A College Professor

December 11, 2012

Having served as a visiting music professor at Dartmouth College, Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Minnesota, Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia.

His Christmas CD, A Star In The East combines all the above. It’s truly different — and truly Appalachian in feel.  This is the title track , Star In The East — it’s also know as The Shepherd’s Star and “Hail the blest morn, see the great Mediator.”  (It’s an old baptist hymn — lyrics follow the embed.) You can find Eriksen’s music at ITunes — but not his Christmas CD.  I discovered it via Festival Link (if you’re in to Christmas music of the bluegrass or mountain music variety, check out the festivalink.net).  — You can also purchase it from Eriksen’s website.

It’s followed by Eriksen performing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (funny, seems every video of him performing is outside somewhere cold).

1 Hail the blest morn, see the great Mediator,
Down from the regions of glory descend!
Shepherds, go worship the babe in the manger,
Lo, for his guard the bright angels attend.

(CHORUS) Brighest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and led us thine aid,
Star in the east, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid.

2 Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining;

Low lies his bed with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him, in slumbers reclining,
Wise men and shepherds before him do fall.

(CHORUS)

4 Vainly we offer each ample oblation;
Vainly with gold we his favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

(CHORUS)

5 Low at his feet we in humble prostration,
Lose all our sorrow and trouble and strife;
There we receive his divine consolation,
Flowing afresh from the fountain of life.

(CHORUS)

6 He is our friend in the midst of temptation,
Faithful supporter, whose love cannot fail;
Rock of our refuge, and hope of salvation,
Light to direct us through death’s gloomy vale.

(CHORUS)

7 Star of the morning, thy brightness, declining,
Shortly must fade when the sun doth arise:
Beaming refulgent, his glory eternal
Shines on the children of love in the skies.

(CHORUS)

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