Jacelyn is playing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. This Christmas favorite is incredibly ancient. The words come from Latin Antiphones. (Antiphones are response chants where one part of the choir sings a response to the other part of the choir. Back and forth, they have a sung conversation about God or doctrine during a church service.) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel antiphones were in use by A.D. 700 at the very latest. People loved these words. One of the first English poets, Cynewulf, was the first to translate the words into Old English and poetry somewhere around 800.
Over the next several hundred years, folks sang and rewrote and re-translated these lovely words, setting them to various melodies. In 1851, Thomas Helmore found a combination that really stuck. He discovered an old French procession melody that time had forgotten it’s origin. Then, he paired this with the words of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and published it in the hymnal, “The Hymnal Noted”. The haunting melody with the yearning feeling from the words were a match made in heaven. As we sing this song today, we can feel the simple consuming desire that God with us, Emmanuel, would ransom us and care for us and give us wisdom.
About The Arrangment
This arrangement is found in the book, Big Time Piano Christmas Level 4 compiled by Randall and Nancy Faber
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