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Three Kings (De Drei Koningen) (for Holy Innocents Day)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/28/17)
Composer: Old Flemish Noel
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Christmas Carol
Today, December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. It is the day that the Church commemorates the Herod's slaughter of the young boys of Bethlehem, as he searched for and sought to kill the Infant Jesus. It also talks of the Holy Family's dramatic flight into Egypt.

This small carol is an old Flemish carol, and was harmonized for the "Oxford Book of Carols" by Martin Shaw (1875-1958). The harmonies are very much in keeping with the style and nature of the melody.

The words were translated by the English poet and historical novelist, Robert Graves (1895-1985).

This piece is certainly intended to be sung a capella, but since I had no choir available, I had to play it...

However, I did try to play as I would have a choir sing it, so, it moves along quickly.

While it's a pleasant melody, you really need to follow the score, and, even better, sing along with it!

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Shaw and Graves, and a painting of the slaughter of the Innocents.

(Last 4 measures for the introduction.)

Three kings are here, both wealthy and wise,
Come riding over the snow covered ice;
Royal in throng, noble in song,
They search for the Child, the Redeemer of wrong;
With tabours and drums they go sounding along.

God's angel speaks Saint Joesph anigh:
"With Jesus into far Egypt fly.
Stay not nor stand; Herod's at hand."
The ass hastens panting; the hot desert sand
Has rescued our Saviour from Herod's ill band.

Herod betrays these innocent lives
Both younger and elder to lances and knives.
Who can dare tell Murder so fell?
These pretty young children in anguish of hell
Were martyred together his anger to quell.

TOMORROW: "Christmas Suite" - Stanley Saxton
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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