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Watchman, tell us of the night

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/18/14)
Composer: Parry, Joseph
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: St. Anne's Moseley
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Hymn
This is the 19th entry in the Advent-Hymn-of-the-Day project, and a VERY well-knwon hymn it is. I suppose that this isn't "really" and Advent hymn, as it is sung not only in Advent, but also in the season of the Epiphany, and as a general hymn as well.

The text of the hymn was written by John Bowring (1792-1872), and provides a vivid and interesting picture of the journey of the Star of Bethlehem.

The music was composed by Joseph Parry (1841-1903), a Welsh composer and musician. Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, he is best known as the composer of this tune, known as "Aberystwyth". In 1854, Parry's family emigrated to the United States when he was 13, and he became an ironworker in Danville, Pennsylvania, where there was a large Welsh community.

This hymn is always a stirring experience, whether singing or listening. The melody has a wonderful sweep to it, and the text is moving and exciting.

This performance is in a "parish church style". I don't think I did any harmony changes, and barely added a few "passing tones" here and there.

Watchman, tell us of the night, what its signs of promise are.
Traveller, o'er yon mountain’s height, see that glory beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray aught of joy or hope foretell?
Traveller, yes—it brings the day, promised day of Israel.

Watchman, tell us of the night; higher yet that star ascends.
Traveller, blessedness and light, peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveller, ages are its own; see, it bursts over all the earth.

Watchman, tell us of the night, for the morning seems to dawn.
Traveller, darkness takes its flight, doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, let thy wanderings cease; hie thee to thy quiet home.
Traveller, lo! the Prince of Peace, lo! the Son of God is come!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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