A new carol for Advent composed in Wiveliscombe

5th December 2023

This year for Christmas the national Church is encouraging everyone to think about the power and joy of music. The Christmas theme, Follow the Star: Join the Song highlights how singing can help draw us closer to God and each other through the journey from Advent to Epiphany.

In Wiveliscombe Revd Hugh Allen has created his very own Advent song, using a traditional German tune and adapting it with words for a 2023 audience. Hugh says that the idea for the Advent song struck him while listening to a CD of the Vienna State Opera House choir. He recounts, “One of the tunes, ‘Softly Falls the Snow.’ has a lovely lilt and is pointing the way towards Christmas and I thought if I can use that tune, rewrite the words and see how it goes, I’ll have a lovely song for Advent.”

Together with the assistance of his next-door neighbour, Charlotte, a clarinet player with the Royal Marine band, they collaborated to bring the song to life. Charlotte verified the new lyrics against the melody, making adjustments to align the tune, resulting in the creation of a four-versed composition. 

Hugh reflecting on his limited musical abilities, mentions,  “Although I can’t play an instrument or sing, I listen to a lot of music, neither can I clap to time, but I enjoy music and this was a lovely tune. The words lead us to look forward to the birth and with it the message we all take away – hope – hope for the world. That’s just what is needed at the moment.” 

Old Cleeve church near Blue Anchor Bay used the carol accompanied by a group of musicians. It will be sung again in St. Luke’s Wiveliscombe when Charlotte and Wakana, a Japanese pianist, will lead the congregation.  
Hugh hopes that you too will use this new carol. If you'd like to use this new carol too, please email Hugh.

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