I first learned about the young American composer Dan Forrest while putting together last year’s Christmas music – his arrangement of The First Noel took my breath away. Forrest’s work continues to astound me and one of my favourite Christmas pieces is his setting of Eileen Berry’s amazing poem, Carol of Joy. This year, this is the song of my Christmas.
Carol of Joy
Poetry by Eileen Berry, Music by Dan Forrest
Brief sunset fading, dim winter sky.
Dark closing in…
Then, through the stillness, carols begin!
Death holds you fast and night tarries long.
Sweet to your ears, a carol of Joy!
Cold barren hillside, shrouded in snow;
Deep, empty valley veiled by the night;
Hear angel music–hopeful and bright!
Peace with your God, and pardon for wrong!
Tidings for sinners, burdened and bound–
A carol of joy!
A Saviour is found!
Thrill to the chorus filling the skies!
Look up sad hearted–witness God’s love!
Join in the carol swelling above!
All Heaven’s joy to you may belong!
You who are lonely, laden, forlorn—
Oh fallen world!
Oh friendless world!
A Saviour is born!