HEY THE GIFT, HO THE GIFT (2016) - for countertenor, tenor, three trombones, tuba, organ

Premiere: New Music for the Season, Rice University Organ Hall, Houston, TX, December 5th, 2016

 

Duration:  ca. 10 min

 

Program Note and Text:

Hey the Gift, ho the Gift,

Hey the Gift, on the living.

Sun of the dawn, Sun of the clouds,

Sun of the planet, Sun of the star

Sun of the snow, Sun of the dew

Sun of the welkin, Sun of the sky

Hey the Gift, ho the Gift,

Hey the Gift, on the living.

Sun of the flame, Sun of the light,

Sun of the sphere, Sun of the globe

Sun of the seasons, Sun of the heavens,

Sun of the moon, Sun of the sea

Hey the Gift, ho the Gift,

Hey the Gift, on the living.

Son of the great things in nature,

And the sun of joyous tidings

Hey the Gift, Ho the Gift is a Yule chant from Carmina Gadelica, a collection of Gaelic prayers, poems, chants, songs, and folkloric texts compiled by Alexander Carmichael in the late 19th century. In it one can see an example of the influence of Paganism on the early Christian celebrations of Christmas.