The Christmas Big Sing Songs of Praise


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The Christmas Big Sing

Gareth Malone and Laura Mvula join Aled Jones for a feast of favourite carols and festive music in a seasonal special from the Royal Albert Hall.


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Merry Christmas to you all and welcome to the Big Sing

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from the Royal Albert Hall.

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It's the big day itself and we have a feast of festive music

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and some very special guests.

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The sensational Laura Mvula sings a Yuletide favourite.

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# Have yourself a blessed little Christmas. #

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Keith and Kristyn Getty will be raising the roof with their

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personal take on a traditional carol.

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# God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay. #

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And Gareth Malone is here with Voices to perform

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Walking In The Air.

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# We're walking in the air. #

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But first, it's over to you at home

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and our 5,000 singers here in the hall,

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for Charles Wesley's much-loved Carol,

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which tells how the angels announced the birth of baby Jesus.

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Wonderful singing from everyone here,

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accompanied by the fabulous Big Sing orchestra,

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led by conductor Paul Leddington Wright.

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Our first guests are a legendary hymn-writing duo

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from Northern Ireland.

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When they're not composing and looking after their young family,

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they're touring with their band, who are also with us today.

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Please welcome Keith and Kristyn Getty.

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Lovely to have you with us.

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I mentioned the fact that you're a hymn-writing duo.

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It's almost a dynasty, isn't it? How many hymns have you written?

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I think there's over 100 being sung in churches now

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and we've been doing it for about 15 years.

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In Christ Alone is the best known.

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We write an awful lot more that never really work,

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so you've got to work very hard to get even one.

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You're being very modest because I heard somewhere that apparently

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50 million people sing that hymn in churches

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around the world in one year.

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How incredible is that, ladies and gentlemen?

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Let's talk about Christmas music. Do you enjoy performing it?

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We love it.

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It comes round once a year and it's the best time of the year!

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It is the best time of the year, isn't it?

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We've got three little girls and it's a very exciting time.

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Why do think that all these carols really resonate with us?

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They have done throughout the ages.

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I think they're the masterworks of the church.

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They're the great composers like Mendelssohn and Holst and Beethoven

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have written these melodies and so it's a real privilege

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for us to get to sing them.

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Listen, we're absolutely thrilled that you're here.

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-What are you going to perform?

-God Rest You Merry Gentlemen.

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Take it away!

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# God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay

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# Remember, Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas Day

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# God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay

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# Remember, Christ, our Saviour was born on Christmas Day

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# To save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray

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# O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy

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# Tidings of comfort and joy

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# In Bethlehem in Israel, this blessed babe was born

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# And laid within a manger upon this blessed morn

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# Through which His mother, Mary, did nothing take in scorn

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# O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy

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# Tidings of comfort and joy

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# Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

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# From God our heavenly Father a blessed angel came

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# And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same

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# How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name

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# O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy

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# Tidings of comfort and joy

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# The shepherds at those tidings, rejoiced much in mind

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# And left their flocks afeeding in tempest storm and wind

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# And went to Bethlehem straightaway,

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# The Son of God to find

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# O tidings of comfort and joy

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# O tidings of comfort and joy

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# Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place

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# And with true love and brotherhood, each other now embrace

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# This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface

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# Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy

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# Tidings of comfort and joy

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# This holy tide of Christmas, all others doth deface

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# O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy

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# Tidings of comfort and joy

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# Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. #

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The Gettys, ladies and gentlemen!

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Such a lovely arrangement.

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Well, our next carol is a classic.

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It was first performed on Christmas Eve

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in a village church in Austria and it's become so loved

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that it's been translated into hundreds of languages

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and its beautiful words and melody are known all over the world.

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Now then, it's time to introduce our second star guest,

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and it's someone who's put his heart and soul into making choirs

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and choral singing fashionable once again.

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He's got the whole nation singing. Good on him!

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It's choir guru Gareth Malone!

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You're here with these guys who look and sound absolutely brilliant.

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They're called Voices. Tell us a bit about them.

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These are all young professional singers so it's a real treat for me.

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I'm learning from them, they're a wonderful group.

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And for those who aren't convinced that singing does change your life,

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what would you say to them?

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Don't knock it till you've tried it.

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It really does work magic,

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and it doesn't need to be at the highest level.

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It can be the first time you walk through the door of your

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local community choir, thinking you can't sing a note.

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You get in and you feel the joy coming up from your toes.

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So, let's talk about this song choice of years.

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-Ah, I thought you might get to that.

-Why, Gareth, why?

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I am starting to regret it.

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Because, Aled, it's had a huge,

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profound impact on my life, I remember it coming out.

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-Of course I remember you singing it.

-Thank you for this, yes!

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Fondly, very fondly. It's just been a part of my...

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I used to sing it at the piano every Christmas

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and so this is my choral reimagining of my homage to Aled Jones.

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-It's all for you.

-Thanks, that's what I was hoping you'd say.

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-This is your present.

-Thanks, is that it?

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Listen, you get yourself ready.

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I'm really looking forward to hearing it.

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It is a song very dear to my heart, ladies and gentlemen.

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Walking In The Air, it's Gareth Malone and Voices.

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# We're walking in the air

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# We're floating in the moonlit sky

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# The people far below are sleeping as we fly

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# We're holding very tight

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# I'm riding in the midnight blue

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# I'm finding I can fly so high above with you

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# Ah....

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# Far across the world

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# The villages go by like dreams

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# The rivers and the hills

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# The forests and the streams

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# Children gaze open mouthed

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# Taken by surprise

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# Nobody down below believes their eyes

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# We're surfing in the air

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# We're swimming in the frozen sky

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# We're drifting over icy mountains floating by

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# Ah...

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# Ah...

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# Ah....

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# Suddenly swooping low

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# On an ocean deep

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# Rising up a mighty monster

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# From its sleep

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# We're walking in the air

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# We're dancing in the midnight sky

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# And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly #

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# Mmm #

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Gareth Malone and Voices, ladies and gentlemen!

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So, here's the question, are you enjoying your Christmas so far?

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ALL: Yes!

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That's the right answer!

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Our next piece of music began as a poem by Cecil Alexander,

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who wanted to help children understand the Christmas story.

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Today it's a favourite with young and old alike

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and wonderfully nostalgic.

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Fabulously sung, all of you, well done.

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Now, there's a chance for you to sit back and enjoy our stage choirs

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as they perform this beautiful piece from Handel's Messiah.

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# Onto us a Son is given

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# Onto us a Son is given

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us

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# Unto us

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# A Son is given

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# A Son is given

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And His name shall be called

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# Wonderful

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# Counsellor

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# The Mighty God

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# The Everlasting Father

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# The Prince of Peace

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us a Child is born

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And His name

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# And His name

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# Shall be called

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# Wonderful

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# Counsellor

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# The Mighty God

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# The Everlasting Father

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# The Prince of Peace

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And the government shall be, shall be upon His shoulder

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And His name shall be called

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# Wonderful

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# Counsellor

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# The Mighty God

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# The Everlasting Father

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# Prince of Peace

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# Unto us a Child is born

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# For unto us a Child is born

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# Unto us a Son is given

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# And the government, the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And the government shall be upon His shoulder

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# And his name shall be called

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# Wonderful

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# Counsellor

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# The Mighty God

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# The Everlasting Father

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# The Prince of Peace

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# The Everlasting Father

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# The Prince of Peace. #

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The carol we're going to hear next is a personal favourite.

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It always reminds me of my school nativities growing up

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in North Wales and, yes, I can remember that far back.

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The special joy that Christmas creates for children of all ages.

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I'm still a child at heart and that's why I absolutely love

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Away In A Manger. I hope you enjoy it, too.

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# Away in a manger

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# No crib for a bed

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# The little Lord Jesus

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# Lay down his sweet head

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# The stars in the bright sky

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# Looked down where he lay

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# The little Lord Jesus

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# Asleep on the hay

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-# The cattle are lowing

-Ooh-ooh

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-# The baby awakes

-Ooh-ooh

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-# But little Lord Jesus

-Ooh-ooh-ooh

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-# No crying he makes

-Ooh-ooh

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-# I love thee, Lord Jesus

-Aah-aah

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-# Look down from the sky

-Aah-aah

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-# And stay by my side

-Aah-aah-aah

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-# Until morning is nigh

-Aah-aah

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# Be near me, Lord Jesus

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# I ask thee to stay

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# Close by me forever

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# And love me, I pray

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# Bless all the dear children

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# In thy tender care

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# And fit us for heaven

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# To live with thee there. #

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APPLAUSE

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INAUDIBLE

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Now there's another chance for you to join in at home,

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and, of course, here at the Royal Albert Hall too,

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as we singer a carol that tells the story of a king

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venturing out into the frost and snow to bring help to those in need.

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It is, of course, Good King Wenceslas.

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APPLAUSE

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Next up, an award-winning singer-songwriter

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who learned her craft at her local church in Birmingham.

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She is a brilliant singer.

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Here to perform Have Yourself A Blessed Little Christmas,

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it's Laura Mvula.

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APPLAUSE

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# Have yourself a blessed little Christmas

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# Christ the King is born

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# Let your voices ring upon this happy morn

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# Have yourself a blessed little Christmas

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# Serenade the Earth

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# Tell the world we celebrate the Saviour's birth

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# Let us gather to sing to him

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# And to bring to him our praise

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# Son of God and a friend of all

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# To the end of all our days

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# Let us all proclaim the joyous tidings

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# Voices raised on high

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# Send the carols soaring up into the sky

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# Soaring up into the sky

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# This very merry blessed Christmas lullaby

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# Have yourself a blessed little Christmas

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# Serenade the Earth

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# Tell the world we celebrate the Saviour's birth

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# Let us gather to sing to him

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# And to bring to him our praise

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# Son of God and a friend of all

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# To the end of all our days

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# Let us all proclaim the joyous tidings

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# Voices raised on high

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# Send the carols soaring up into the sky

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# Soaring up into the sky

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# This very merry blessed Christmas lullaby. #

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APPLAUSE

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Laura Mvula, ladies and gentlemen!

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A huge thanks to Laura

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and all our other stars, singers and musicians

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who have made this an unforgettable Christmas Big Sing.

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There's time for one more piece of music before we go.

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Its origin is something of a mystery,

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with both the words and tune

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attributed to different authors and composers.

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We can all agree that

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it's one of our most enduring and uplifting carols.

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So let's raise the roof with O Come All Ye Faithful.

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Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas

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from all of us at Songs Of Praise.

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APPLAUSE

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Gareth Malone and Laura Mvula join Aled Jones for a feast of favourite carols and festive music in a seasonal special from the Royal Albert Hall.

Music: Hark the Herald Angels Sing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by The Gettys Silent Night Walking in the Air by Gareth Malone and Voices Once in Royal David's City For Unto Us a Child Is Born Away an a Manger by Aled Jones Good King Wenceslas Have Yourself a Blessed Little Christmas by Laura Mvula O Come All Ye Faithful.