The heavens declared it, the angels sang it, and this music too rings out the greatest of “good news!” Jesus is wonderful child, not merely because he is “meek and mild,” but because he comes to bring “new life” and “new hope.”
This is a wonderful song to celebrate the Christ-child and the gifts of new life and hope Jesus brings. While the music here is enough to support the congregational singing, it really is just a template from which to play, so improvisation is encouraged. Especially appropriate would be the addition of a string bass, with the musical texture filled in by a clarinet to give it a “Dixieland” quality.
For a fuller accompaniment, see the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation (Faith Alive Christian Resources). A SATB with soloist arrangement by Tom Fettke is also available through Lillenas.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 105)
This delightful, toe-tapping gospel song really needs the piano accompaniment to make it work, preferably also with bass and drums. The timing is moderately difficult because of the teasing, challenging rests. Play crisply—the playful mix of voices and accompaniment is vital. Be sure the stress each time is on the first syllable of “Jesus” and “Glory.” Improvised fills from brass, flute, and clarinet can give it a “Dixieland” feel. A bit faster and it can develop a “big band” sound; a bit slower and it begins to feel more like the blues. However you do it, begin more quietly (“meek and mild”) and build in vitality into “Glory!”
The simple harmony to this African-American traditional was prepared by Jeffrey Radford (b. ?; d. Chicago, Illinois, August 12, 2002), then-music director at Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC) in Chicago, the largest UCC congregation in the United States.