From Bob Kauflin: From the start, I wanted us to produce an album that "sounded" like Christmas. It had to have intimate moments as well as celebrative ones. It would be an album you'd want to sing along to as well as listen to. It would feel familiar and fresh at the same time. Most of all, it would help us focus on the joy, awe, mystery, and wonder that God becoming man should produce in our hearts. J.I. Packer wrote:
"'The Word became flesh’ (John 1:14); God became man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets." (Knowing God, p. 53)
That's what we tried to communicate through these songs.
We ended up with six Christmas carols and eight originals. Of the six carols, we only left "What Child is This" untouched. "Come All Ye Faithful," "Joy to the World (Our God Reigns)," and "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" received some minor melodic variations and lyrical additions. We wrote three new verses for "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and Kevin Hartnett, a NASA scientist and poet, contributed two new verses for "O Holy Night (Hear the Gospel Story)." As the title implies, the new lyrics take us into the redemptive meaning of that holy night:
Humbly He lay, Creator come as creature
Born on the floor of a hay-scattered stall
True Son of God, yet bearing human feature
He entered earth to reverse Adam’s fall
Here's a sample of lyrics from some of the original songs:
He Who is mighty has done a great thing
Taken on flesh, conquered death's sting
Shattered the darkness and lifted our shame, holy is His name
(He Who is Mighty - Rebecca Elliott & Kate DeGraide)
One still night, while Joseph dreamed, he saw a vision within his troubled sleep
One small child, his bride would give, Deliverer delivered, to save us from our sin
(One Still Night - Neil & Kate DeGraide)
And who would have dreamed or ever foreseen
That we could hold God in our hands?
The Giver of Life is born in the night
Revealing God’s glorious plan to save the world
(Who Would Have Dreamed - Jason Hansen & Bob Kauflin)
There blooms a rose in Bethlehem from tender stem hath sprung
Of Jesse's line this flower grows as men of old have sung
Isaiah told us long ago about this rose we'd find
In virgin arms, we shall behold the Savior of mankind
(There Blooms a Rose in Bethlehem - Neil DeGraide)
Come and see the inconceivable, and believe the unbelievable
God has come to dwell with us
Begotten Son born into Adam's earth, promised One fulfilling ancient words
God has come to dwell with us
(The Unbelievable - Steve & Vikki Cook)
The vocalists and instrumentalists did a fantastic job on the album and were ably led by Neil DeGraide, who ended up producing the project, assisted by Steve Cook. Neil is a gifted musician and part of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He created a sonic palette of engaging cello parts, tasty piano patterns, mesmerizing guitar riffs, and warm acoustic sounds that invite the listener in. The album also benefited from the keyboard and arranging contributions of David LaChance, Jr., Neil's cousin. David's version of "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" is hauntingly beautiful.
But you don't have to take my word for it. You can listen to the tracks on our Bandcamp site and download the album there as well as Amazon or iTunes. Physical CDs can be ordered from the Sovereign Grace webstore starting October 6.
If you're looking for charts and lead sheets they're available for free on the album page on our site (piano scores will be posted later this week). We're hoping to get a few orchestrations and 4 part arrangements up soon as well.
Our prayer for this project, and every project, is that people who listen to and sing these songs will have a greater love for the One who came to free us from our sins by taking on our flesh and dying in our place.
The long night is over. The light of the world has come. Prepare Him room.
- See more at: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/post/New-Christmas-Album-from-Sovereign-Grace-Music.aspx#sthash.B5zoS3Ku.dpuf