Profound Joy (2004)
Album Liner Notes
1. O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL (Plainsong, 13th C.) “O come, thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.” —-Latin hymn, 12th C., transl. J.M. Neale, 1851
2. THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (Trad. English, 18th C.) “The holly bears a berry as red as any blood, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.”
3. HOW SHALL I FITLY MEET THEE (J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio, no. 5) “How shall I fitly meet thee and give thee welcome due? The nations long to greet thee, and I would greet thee too. O fount of light, shine brightly upon my darkened heart, that I may serve thee rightly and know thee as thou art.”
4. MORNING’S CLIMB THROUGH PONDEROSAS/THE PHILMONT HYMN (©T. Seaman, 2000; David Westfall, 1947) I’ve long dreamed of returning to New Mexico in the winter and hiking through the snow past Miners Park and beyond, watching the silent snow sift in the sunlight against an azure sky.
5. HEY, HO, NOBODY HOME (Trad. English) An old wassail round. We Three Kings of Orient Are (J.H. Hopkins, 1857) “Glorious now behold him arise, King and God and sacrifice.” Star in the East (Trad. American folk hymn) “Hail the blest morn! See the great mediator down from the regions of glory descend.” —-Reginald Heber, 1811
6. FAIREST LORD JESUS (Trad. Silesian) “Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations! Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, praise, adoration, now and forevermore be thine.” —-Muenster Gesangbuch, 1677, transl. 1873
7. HE SHALL FEED HIS FLOCK LIKE A SHEPHERD (G.F. Handel: Messiah Oratorio no. 18) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: and he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” —-Isaiah 40:11
8. PURE JOY (©T. Seaman, 2003) Our daughter Karen Alisa’s name means, in Greek and Hebrew, “Pure Joy.”
9. WITHIN YON GLOOMY MANGER (J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio, no. 17) “Within yon gloomy manger lies the Lord who reigns above the skies: within the stall where beasts have fed the virgin-born doth lay his head.”
10.WEXFORD CAROL (Trad. Wexford, England) “In a manger he was laid, and by his side the virgin maid attending on the Lord of life.”
11. JINGLE BELLS (J. Pierpont, 1857) “O’er the fields we go, laughing all the way!”
12. LULLAY, LULLY (Trad. English) COVENTRY CAROL (Trad. Coventry, England, 1534) From a pageant, speaking of when Herod had Bethlehem’s children killed. “O sisters, too, how may we do for to preserve, this day, this poor youngling for whom we sing?”
13. IN DULCI JUBILO (Trad. German, 14th C.) “Earth and heaven before him bow, and he is in the manger now. Now ye hear of endless bliss: Jesus Christ was born for this!” —- Medieval Latin carol, transl. J.M. Neale, 1853 EL DESEMBRE CONGELAT (Trad. Catalan) “December’s cold winds were stilled; diminished, they withdrew. April, crowned with flowers, all the world admires, when in love’s garden a divine flower is born from a beautiful rose fertile and young. At midnight from the sadness the newborn sun burst forth from a beautiful dawn when heaven rejoiced.” EL NOI DE LA MARE (Trad. Catalan) “What shall we give to the son of the virgin? What shall we give him that he will enjoy?”
14. TO THE WEE BAIRN IN THE CAVE (©T. Seaman, 2003) There are few Scottish Christmas songs—so here’s more repertoire! The stable in Bethlehem is generally thought to have been in a cave.
15. MAOZ TZUR (Trad. Jewish Hanukkah liturgy) “Rock of ages, let our song praise thy saving power; thou, amidst the raging foes, wast our sheltering tower. Furious, they assailed us, but thine arm availed us, and thy word broke their sword when our own strength failed us.” HANUKKAH, O HANUKKAH (Trad. Hasidic) “Each candle light makes a glorious sight to recall the heroes of yore.”
16. IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR (R.S. Willis, 1850) “‘Peace on the earth, good will to men, from heaven’s all-gracious King;’ the world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.” —E.H. Sears, 1850 O HOLY NIGHT (A.C. Adam, 19th C.) “The King of kings lay in lowly manger, in all our trials born to be our friend.” —-J.S. Dwight
17. JOY TO THE WORLD (J.F. Handel, 1742) A hymn about the second coming. “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.” —- Isaac Watts, 1719, based on Psalm 98 DECK THE HALL WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY (Trad. Welsh) “See the blazing yule before us: strike the harp and join the chorus!” ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH (Trad. French) “Come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the newborn king.”
18. AWAY IN A MANGER (J.R. Murray, 1887; W.J. Kirkpatrick, 1895) “Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray.” —-Anon., Philadelphia, 1885
19. BESIDE THY CRADLE HERE I STAND (J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio, no. 59) “Beside thy cradle here I stand, O thou that ever livest, and bring thee with a willing hand the very gifts thou givest. Accept me; ‘tis my mind and heart, my soul, my strength, my every part, that thou from me requirest.”
20. THREE-FOLD JOY (©T. Seaman, 2000) For Phil and Ardie, Trio StringWind. CANON FOR THREE CENTURIES (©T. Seaman, 1998) For daughters Karen and Laurie Jean. CANON IN D FANTASIA (J. Pachelbel/T. Seaman, 2004) GIVE THANKS (©Henry Smith, 1978, Integrity’s Hosanna! Music, ASCAP) An iternationally loved chorus written by my roommate and first publicly sung in Rowena’s and my wedding. “And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong,’ let the poor say, ‘I am rich,’ because of what the Lord has done for us!”
Timothy Seaman plays the Dusty Strings D-600 hammered dulcimer, flute, bamboo flute, whistle, bowed & plucked psaltery, guitars, keyboard, melodica, mountain dulcimer and percussion.
Produced and recorded by Timothy Seaman at Possum-in-a-Beech Room, Williamsburg, VA (thank you, Laurie Jean), and by Henry Smith at Outback Studio, Mechanicsville, VA (804/730-4174). Mixed and mastered at Outback Studio.
Cover by Hillhouse Graphic Design, Kingsport, TN (423/239-5431)
Cover photograph by Ken Murray (Cane Creek Falls, TN); back photo by T. Seaman
Further grateful acknowledgements: Cheryl Sonderman, Maddie MacNeil, Sam Rizzetta, Ray & Sue Mooers, Kathleen Battle & Christopher Parkening, the editors of the Trinity Hymnal and of the Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas Songbook, Mary Cottrill, Steve Ingles, John Hornback, Bob Hill & staff, Geri Baker, Paul Horn, Daniel Cross, and John McCutcheon