My Christmas Song Blog series is almost finished. Happy New Year’s Eve! and Happy New Year to friends and family in Asia, Australia, and Europe! Join me tomorrow for my New Year’s Day blog.
Here’s a song to welcome 2021 from Steven Curtis Chapman’s JOY Christmas album. Listen on Spotify if you’re a subscriber or YouTube.
Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Thank you for joining me throughout the entire Christmas Holiday season by reading my blog and listening to My 2020 Christmas playlist. Please share your comments below. I’d love to get your feedback. Thank you.
“Let heaven and nature sing, Joy to the world the Lord has Come!” This is the reason the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated by Christians around the world. The Lord has come to earth. Hymn writer and English Christian minister, Isaac Watts wrote this song. It was first published in England in 1833, and popularized by American church music composer, Lowell Mason.
Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck writes, “‘Joy to the World’ is a paraphrase of the last part of Psalm 98.” He also adds “…this psalm was intended by Watts to be a New Testament expression of praise. It exalts the salvation that began when God became incarnate…”
Jesus is “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” He came as a baby and grew up to be a man who was without sin. The perfect sacrifice to atone (make amends) for the sins of man. The Messiah (Savior). William Peterson writes “We need to look back and praise God for the glorious gift of his Son, Jesus. But we should also look forward to Christ’s return, when God will bring a righteous conclusion to all things. Then we will begin to fully enjoy the ‘wonders of His love’ for all eternity.”
Listen to this recording and arrangement that is full of Joy for Jesus’ birth and expectation for his second coming. Steven is joined by the The African Children’s Choir sounding like angelic voices singing out loud “Joy To The World.” Listen on Spotify if you’re a subscriber or YouTube.
In 1962 a record producer invited Noël Regney to write a Christmas song. With his then wife, Gloria Shayne they wrote “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Regney wrote the lyrics that was set to music by Shayne. While it was meant to be a Christmas song, they wrote it as a plea for peace, since there was a threat of war in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The song’s narrative combines parts of the Christmas story and its characters along with the message to pray for peace.
While the Harry Simeone Chorale originally recorded it in 1963, it was Bing Crosby’s recording that made it a hit song. So many prominent artists have since recorded it and is now considered one of the Holiday standards.
The first time I learned and sang this song was the year my Mom recruited me to join our church choir. I think I was 11 or 12 years old at the time. It was one of the fun songs I liked to sing during Christmas time.
The African Children’s Choir once again sings in this recording. It’s a wonderful crescendo and build up to the message of the song “pray for peace people everywhere! the child sleeping in the night, he will bring us goodness and light.”
Today starts the weekend of Christmas Love Songs. Kicking of this mini-series is another original song by Steven Curtis Chapman (SCC). If you didn’t already notice, I’m a big fan of SCC as a gifted songwriter. What’s so endearing about Steven, is the love songs he’s written and recorded through the years for his wife Mary Beth. If this song is any indication, their love has remained steadfast throughout their marriage. After all these years, the songs he writes convey his adoration, affection, and respect for his sweetheart like they were young and in love.
The first time I saw SCC in concert was with my boyfriend at the time. In his concerts, he always sets up his loves song by encouraging couples in the audience to snuggle up. Remember the 1st Christmas you shared with your spouse or sweetheart? This original song captures that moment of young love. So snuggle up with your sweetheart and/or spouse and listen or slow dance while listening to “Christmas Kiss.” Listen on Spotify if you’re a subscriber or watch the official lyrics video on YouTube.
Here’s another song written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne. It’s said that they wrote this in the middle of a heat wave in Hollywood, California in 1945. As I write this blog it’s a sunny 40 degrees in the St. Louis area. I mentioned in my Dec. 4 Song of the Day that I love SNOW! so of course I’m blogging about another recording of this song.
Steven’s rendition of this song sounds more like the popular version I know. He adds a piano, bass, and drums to the ensemble for a jazzy flare and they brake out in full jazz improvisation in the middle of the song that I absolutely enjoy! You’ll be finger snappin’ again while listening to this recording.
An original song by Steven Curtis Chapman where he is joined by the African Children’s Choir in this heart-warming and moving song about Christmas [not only] in Kentucky, Steven’s hometown but “everywhere It’s Christmas!” The lyrics include biblical truths about the reason for this season, which is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s one and only begotten Son, the Savior of the World, Joy to the World! Steven displays once again his God-given Songwriting brilliance. By the end of this song your heart will be singing along and mesmerized by the truly angelic voices of the African Children’s Choir.
When I bought this Christmas CD, I was a teacher at a private school in Lexington, KY teaching Computers, Music, and Spanish 1. It was the first time I ever taught children from Pre-K through 8th Grade. The experience enlightened me to the joys, challenges, and privilege of teaching biblical values to children and the next generation.
Today is The Lord’s Day! I love listening to this song specially on this Day of our Lord and so will you. Watch the official lyrics video on YouTube or listen on Spotify if you’re a subscriber.
Written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This song has been recorded by numerous artists since 1982, and it’s considered one of the popular Christmas Standards. Amongst the numerous recordings available, it’s Steven Curtis Chapman’s rendition that’s on my Christmas playlist since I bought his “JOY” Christmas CD.
I enjoy Steven’s guitar and vocal arrangement as well as performance of this song. He sings and plays this song with gentleness and warmth. Listening to this song makes me wanna sit by the fire place while sipping hot cocoa or apple cider. Collaborating with Steven is Brent Mulligan on Bass and Cello. Listen on Spotify if your a subscriber or YouTube.
One of the most prolific Singer-Songwriters of Christian Contemporary Music, Steven Curtis Chapman is one of my favorites. In his career that spans over three decades, he has garnered 5 Grammy Awards, 59 Dove Awards, 1 American Music Award, and 49 #1 Radio Hits including “Christmas Time Again” from his “JOY” Christmas CD. Released in 2012, I saw the display of this Christmas CD while shopping for Christmas gifts and decided to buy this album. It was going to be a musical gift for a friend but I decided to keep it. I’ve been enjoying this album for the last eight Christmases.
While 2020 has been a globally challenging year, it’s Christmas Time Again! time to listen to songs that celebrate The Joy of Christmas, the best time of the year! Let’s start with this Steven Curtis Chapman song that will get your fingers snappin’ and toes tappin’. The lyrics and music sets a wonderful tone of happiness, which may be the reason why “Christmas Time Again” became a #1 Radio Hit song. Listen on Spotify if you’re a subscriber or watch the official lyrics video on YouTube.