Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent II: Jordan's Bank Revisited

Over at www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com, they have unearthed two alternate tunes to On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry.

It is important to note that this hymn is in Long Meter (four lines with eight syllables per line, or LM, or 88 88) and there are hundreds of tunes that could be sung to this text.  Lutheran Service Book alone has 40 tunes with this meter, plus a few that are Long Meter and Alleluias, and a few more that are Long Meter Double (LMD or 88 88 88 88), not to mention Long Meter and Refrain.  WHEW!!!

So, when it comes to alternate tunes, I am sticking with ones that are actually paired with this text in print somewhere.

The names of these tunes are not cited, so if you know them, feel free to enlighten us in the comment box.

Find out more about the author of this hymn here.

Find out more about the hymn itself here.

Sheet Music from John Clark Hollister, ed., The Sunday-School Service and Tune Book (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1863, 1865), #2, p. 16.

Sheet music from A. B. Goodrich, ed., A New Service And Tune Book For Sunday Schools (New York: Gen. Prot. Episc. S. S. Union and Church Book Society, 1863, New Edition, Enlarged, 1866), #66, p. 72.

Weinachtslieder: The Ones I Didn't Know II

Another German carol with which I was not familiar was Leis Rieselt der Schnee.

A soloist sang the first three lines, and the congregation sang the final line, which was the same text in each verse.

Leise rieselt der Schnee,
Still und starr ruht der See,
Weihnachtlich glänzet der Wald,
Freue Dich, Christkind kommt bald.

Softly the snow trickles,
The lake rests silent and glassy,
the forest shines Christmas-like,
Rejoice, Christchild is coming soon.

Where "Ich Steh an Deiner Krippe Hier" has a very churchly melody (both tunes fall under the Lutheran chorale umbrella), "Leise Rieselt der Schnee" has a very folksy melody. Yet both are more introspective than objective. Yes, folks, Lutherans do get touchy-feely from time to time!

Weinachtslieder: The Ones I Didn't Know

There were a couple of German carols Sunday Night that I didn't know.

These are probably well-known in some circles (plenty of youtube videos available), but I think even those fluent in German struggled with this one.

Ich steh an deiner Krippe hier,
O Jesu du mein Leben;
Ich komme, bring und schenke dir,
Was du mir hast gegeben.
Nimm hin, es ist mein Geist und Sinn,
Herz, Seel und Mut, nimm alles hin
Und laß dir's wohlgefallen.

I remain here by Your cradle,
O Jesus my Life;
I come and bring and give to you
What you would have me give
Take it, it is my spirit and senses,
Heart, soul and strength, take all of it
And leave what is pleasing to you.

I believe this it the tune they used Sunday evening.

I am more familiar with this tune, which you might know as "The Day Is Surely Drawing Near." It's an interesting mix for me, a "baby Jesus" text with an "end times" tune. It places one both at the manger and at the second coming. His incarnation and His return meet up this way.