A Musical Advent Calendar – 3. My Lord Has Come

Day 3 brings one of my favourite carols of recent years, My Lord Has Come by Will Todd, who is probably best known for his work Mass in Blue, but manages to write convincingly in a whole range of musical styles

Will Todd has written about it as follows:

In summer 2010 Oxford University Press was searching for material for a new Carols for Choirs book to celebrate 50 years since ‘Carols for Choirs 1’ was first published (bringing enduring favourites to the choral world, including Sir David Willcocks’ memorable descant to O Come, All Ye Faithful and his beautiful arrangement of Away in a Manger). I was delighted that my carol My Lord Has Come was chosen by current editors Bob Chilcott and David Blackwell to be included in the new edition. Such an exciting moment, as I have wonderful memories of singing music from the earlier Carols for Choirs books in my formative years.

I love the marriage of music and words as we are led to see that as for common shepherds and princely sages there is only one place – the humble stable – where we can meet Jesus. In a reversal of roles if you like, we find there that it is Jesus himself who holds, cherishes and cradles us, if we will let him lead us there.

Shepherds, called by angels,
called by love and angels:
No place for them but a stable.
My Lord has come.

Sages, searching for stars,
searching for love in heaven;
No place for them but a stable.
My Lord has come.

His love will hold me,
his love will cherish me,
love will cradle me.

Lead me, lead me to see him,
sages and shepherds and angels;
No place for me but a stable.
My Lord has come.

This performance is from Northwestern University in Chicago, where my friend Alisa Kasmir sang when an undergraduate. They are obviously still carrying on the great choral tradition.

While my recommended recording is from Tenebrae, for something different, Gareth Malone has only yesterday released his album A Great British Christmas which has a recording of this song with Yolanda Brown adding an improvised Saxophone track.  You can find it online, including on Spotify here:

 

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