On a Christmas Long Ago

Information and LyricsListenSheet Music
(Virgin and Child picture)
Often when I post a song, I look around for public domain art that might match the message. This is especially fun when the subject is Christmas, since over the centuries so much art has been dedicated to the birth of the Savior.

Finding art that suits my taste isn’t always easy, however. In so many depictions of the nativity, Mary seems to have given birth to a two-year-old, and wrapped Him in nothing at all. Poor, shivering child!

I tried to find art for this year’s Christmas Card Carol video, but nothing was quite right. So the video is sparse (rather like some of the swaddling clothes in the paintings) and consists of just lyrics on a background. Still, if you prefer to listen via YouTube, it’s there.

This little song is lyrically very simple, and retells only a part of that beautiful story. For now it’s just solo voice. I’ll eventually get around to writing down the obbligato, and maybe next year all the “Gloria!” passages will prompt an SATB. 🙂

Happy Christmas 2016!


In a manger, mean and poor
Mary laid the Son she bore
And wrapped Him well to keep Him warm
On a Christmas long ago
On a holy Christmas night so long ago

At the manger, bleak and bare
Joseph watched with tender care
And whispered thanks to God in prayer
On a Christmas long ago
On a holy Christmas night so long ago

Gloria! the angels cried
Gloria! to God on high
Gloria! our hearts reply

‘Twas a baby, meek and small
Sleeping ‘neath the starlight’s fall
Who came to love and save us all
On a Christmas long ago
On a holy Christmas night so long ago

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