Anticipation

Waiting… as November wanes, we can hardly wait to get out the decorations. As December begins, children can hardly wait to see what will be under the tree for them. Parents and friends can’t wait to see how surprised their loved ones will be when they see what they found for them!

But how can any of our waiting compare to that of the Israelites’, as they looked for the fulfillment of the prophecies of a coming Messiah? And it was in a time so dark, as they desperately fueled their flame of hope—that He came.

You can sense the anticipation in the song title “Do You Hear What I Hear?”   The Mom examined in detail that particular piece sung by Third Day, last year.  We’re thinking it’s good enough to repeat! 

The track starts out with a rhythm of kettle drums punctuated with a single tap on a tambourine—right away you envision shepherds or nomads on a country hillside. Soon you hear a very ‘spooky’ or lonely-sounding wind, mysterious as it moves from one ear to the other, of course giving the impression of space & being outdoors. “Said the Night Wind to the little Lamb…” –yes, the wind definitely sounds like it has personality!

“Do you see what I see?”—this is echoed by other singers, adding beautifully to the atmosphere & setting already created. The tune (and the lead singer) contribute to the idea of this question being almost shouted out, like “Wow! Look at that!”

On the last word of the first verse, about the Star, a joyful melody of guitars now joins the kettle drums; and as we get into the next verse (now the Little Lamb talking to the Shepherd Boy), I love the rhythmic bounce of the organ (?) in the background, which adds some ‘playfulness’ (fitting for boys & lambs?) There is also a magical tinkling sound, going with the words about the song “ringing through the sky”. Coming in here as well, is something like a flute, adding to the “bounce”.

In the third verse the boy is the one talking, and I think he must be a teenager now, as things get louder, and we get the electric guitar! He’s shouting boldly to a “mighty” king about the Child—maybe the king can’t hear, which was spiritually true for Herod of course. The joy & excitement increase with the loudness.

The music quiets again, with a sprinkling of piano keys, as the King now has his verse… but you sense that the king is not Herod this time, this one being about peace—and He says “listen to what I say”, instead of the usual “do you hear what I hear”. The verse gets triumphantly loud and then quiet again, the piece finishing off in a sense how it started—with the wind. But this time the wind is a peaceful, beautiful tinkling of wind-chimes.

Isn’t it amazing what Christ-mas inspires man to create?

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