Simple Gifts Wrapped in Shimmer
Simple Gifts Wrapped in Shimmer is a loosely based Holiday themed CD of improvisations and variations on existing traditional melodies played on Native American Flute. Think Christmas Carol in fusion with Native American Flute. It is not all Christmas Carols, as you will read below. Here are the tracks, times (rounded to nearest second) and credits plus a little history of the original melodies. 1. Amazing Grace 4:54 No Native American Flute artist is complete until they have done Amazing Grace. The Native Americans sang this hymn on the Trail of Tears. The words were originally written by John Newton in 1772 and eventually adapted to the traditional melody we know today. 2. What Child Is This? 5:26 Originally written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865, it was set to the melody of the traditional English song of Greensleeves. 3. Green Groweth the Holly 11:43 Holly is a traditional symbol of Christmas but this is not a Christmas Carol per se. It does use the winter imagery and references the Holly and the Ivy. It is actually a love song written by King Henry VIII possibly for his first queen, Catherine of Aragon. One may be surprised at first that it was Henry who composed the words and music to this song. Henry was at the time a young man. A gentleman in those days was expected not only to be a warrior but also to be cultured. People provided their own live entertainment at home. Henry chose holly as the symbol of his enduring love. A verse and chorus: As the holly groweth green And never changeth hue So I am, and ever hath been, Unto my lady true. Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy Though winter blasts blow never so high Green groweth the holly The history of the reverence to holly goes back thousands of years. It was the sacred plant of the Roman god, Saturn. Mystical powers were attributed to it by the Anglo-Saxons because it stayed green all through the winter and the Druids held it sacred and associated it with the winter solstice. 4. Joseph Lieber Joseph Mein 6:40 This traditional German carol was sung in 16th century mystery plays as a lullaby and took it's melody from the 14th century German carol, "Resonet in Laudibus" 5. God Rest You Merry Gentlemen 8:28 Traditional English carol Listen for the change to a dance in the middle. 6. Silent Night 5:21 Needs no introduction. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber on Christmas Eve in 1818. As a child I omitted the word "mother" when I sang the song because it was so emotionally painful to me. My mother died when I was 6. 7. Lo How A Rose E're Blooming 5:36 is another German Christmas carol that first appeared in the Speyer Hymnal of 1599. 8. Simple Gifts 7:41 is also not a Christmas song but it's message has been one that I have always embraced. It is a Shaker dance song written by Elder Joseph Brackett in 1848. Simple Gifts is the melody I played on an alto recorder for my bride at our wedding 27 years ago. It was the only music. Here are the words: 'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free, 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 'Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain'd, To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd, To turn, turn will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come round right. Total CD time: 56:05 So please enjoy these Simple Gifts Wrapped in Shimmer.