One of the last big things I was able to do with my former church before I came to Truro Anglican in Fairfax was release an Advent EP called “For Our Salvation”. It was released a year ago in December 2013. It features four Advent carols (arranged by me and orchestrated by Joshua Spacht), one instrumental piece (again by Joshua), and one of my original songs called “Beautiful Baby Boy“. The songs are arranged for band, strings, and feature a children’s choir as well.
The first song on the EP is “Once in Royal David’s City”, an old carol written by Cecil Alexander and Henry Gauntlett. This is the carol that usually kicks off “Lessons and Carols” services, and it’s a beautiful retelling of the story of Jesus’ birth, culminating with that great longing of ours to one day see him again.
I did a few things with the text:
1. I left out the verse that talks about how little children should be as “mild, obedient, and good” as Jesus.
2. In its place, I wrote a verse that explains: “He was given to pay our ransom / By His blood we are set free / Suffered He for our transgressions / Lamb of God upon the tree / Then He rose up from the grave / Risen King with power to save”.
3. I chose the version of the last verse that ends “…Christ revealed to faithful eye / Set at God’s right hand on high”, as opposed to the other version which says “Where like stars His children crowned / All in white shall wait around”. For some reason that last version doesn’t exactly elicit an exciting view of heaven!
You can purchase the song on iTunes here.
Here’s a lyric video:
And here is the free orchestration for strings (including a chord chart), by my good friend Joshua Spacht.
The whole EP is available at www.tfcamusic.org or on iTunes.
2 thoughts on “Once in Royal David’s City”
Jamie, thank you very much for this version, for both the mp3 and PDF. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and so remember your post on this last year – our music team enjoyed listening to it and I think one of our music leaders used it in a service.
This year we are planning to use this version for our traditional carol service, and hoping to use the string parts as basis for potential flute and trumpet parts (not sure how that will work out yet!).
So thank you once again… we’re excited about the new lyrics drawing more attention to the Lord Jesus, instead of “mild, obedient, and good” children!
part of the music team of Cornerstone Church Kingston, UK
Thanks for sharing this, Jamie!