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Here is the text from the suite of six songs inspired by Barry Hall's arrangement of many medieval tunes from his CD Feast of Songs which he did entirely with his wife Beth. ( incidentally, Barry also handcrafted the Didjibodhran that is played on one of the tunes ). The majority of the text is from the T.S. Eliot poem "Journey of the Magi" with alot of prophetic Scripture passages thrown in here and there.

Journey of the Magi

an adaptation of medieval songs, scripture and writings of T.S. Eliot

The Fore-telling ( adlib ) (MP3)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light

See the former things have taken place and new things I declare, before they spring into being I announce them to you.

But you oh Bethleham...out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel whose origins are from old, from ancient times

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given

And the word became flesh and dwelt among us

The Journey Begins ( Journey of the Magi ) (MP3)

A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of year for a journey,

and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, and the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling and running away and wanting their liquor and women,

and the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, and the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

and the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night, sleeping in snatches

With the voices in our ears, saying that this was all folly

Drawing Near ( Patapan ) (MP3)

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation,

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness and three trees on a low sky.

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, and feet kicking the empty wine-skins.

But there was no information, and so we continued

and arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

finding the place; it was ( you may say ) satisfactory.

With Our Own Eyes ( The Truth from Above ) (MP3)

They saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshipped him.

Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

The Passion to Come ( Inte Sorja Vi ) (MP3)

For what they were not told they will see and what they have not heard they will understand.

He grew up like a tender shoot, like a root out of dry ground

see my servant will act wisely, and he will be raised and lifted up.

But he was pierced for our transgressions

Because he poured out his life unto death

Surely he took up our infirmities

he was crushed for our iniquities

and was numbered with the transgressors

And carried our sorrows

the punishment that brought us peace was upon him

for he bore the sin of many

And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all

and made intercession for the transgressors

and by his wounds we are healed


the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world


From Whence We Came? ( Nous Voici Dans La Ville ) (MP3)

All this was a long time ago, I remember, and I would do it again,

But set down this set down this: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death?

There was a Birth, certainly, we had evidence and no doubt.

I had seen birth and death, but had thought they were different;

this Birth was hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, but no longer at ease here,

in the old dispensation, with an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.