Christmas Big Sing Songs of Praise


Christmas Big Sing

Carols and festive music from the Royal Albert Hall as star guests Ronan Keating, Alexander Armstrong, Ruby Turner and Shaun Escoffery join hosts Sally Magnusson and David Grant.


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Transcript


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-Hello.

-Hello.

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Welcome to the Songs of Praise

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festive Big Sing from the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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With Christmas Day just around the corner,

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we'll be setting the scene with some of the best-loved carols

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and seasonal music, with the help of our special guests...

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The fabulous Ronan Keating...

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R&B legend, Ruby Turner.

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And quiz show host and singer, Alexander Armstrong.

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Not forgetting a choir of 5,000 voices

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ready to sing their hearts out.

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What's first, Sally?

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Our first carol has been a favourite for generations,

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and yet still manages to capture the joy

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at the heart of the Christmas story.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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What a way to begin our Christmas Big Sing.

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Our first guest is a man of many talents.

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You may know him as one half of comic duo, Armstrong and Miller,

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or presenter of the prime-time BBC quiz show, Pointless.

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Please welcome Alexander Armstrong.

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APPLAUSE

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-What a surprise to hear that you sing!

-Yeah!

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-I've always sung.

-Have you?

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Has it been a big part of your life then, music?

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Yeah, it has, actually. I was a choirboy from the age of seven,

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I was a chorister at St Mary's in Edinburgh

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and then I was a choral scholar

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right way through university as well.

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-Then, what, comedy got in the way?

-Comedy got in the way.

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No-one ever asked me to sing. I've always been doing it.

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I've been waiting all this time for somebody to ask me to sing.

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LAUGHTER

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It's a very honest thing to do, singing.

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You open yourself up in a way that, er,

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that comedy doesn't necessarily allow you to do.

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What are you going to sing for us?

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I'm going to sing In the Bleak Midwinter,

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there are two versions of this, it's quite confusing,

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cos the first line of each version is almost identical.

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There's a Holst version and there is a Harold Darke version,

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I'm going to do the Holst version.

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-Well, let's hear it now. Thanks very much, Alexander.

-Great pleasure.

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APPLAUSE

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# In the bleak mid-winter

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# Frosty wind made moan

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# Earth stood hard as iron

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# Water like a stone

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# Snow had fallen

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# Snow on snow

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# Snow on snow...

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# In the bleak mid-winter

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# Long ago...

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# Our God, Heav'n cannot hold him

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# Nor Earth sustain

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# Heaven and Earth shall flee away

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# When he comes to reign

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# In the bleak mid-winter

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# A stable place sufficed

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# The Lord God almighty

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# Jesus Christ

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# What can I give him

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# Poor as I am?

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# If I were a shepherd

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# I would bring a lamb

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# If I were a wise man

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# I would do my part

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# What can I give him?

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# Give...

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# My heart...

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# If I were a wise man

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# I would do my part

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# Yet what I can I give him...

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CHOIR: # I give him... #

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# Give...

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# My heart... #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Alexander Armstrong!

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Now, here's a chance for everyone here and at home to join in,

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as we sing one of our most popular carols of praise and adoration.

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APPLAUSE

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Well, that was brilliant singing, wasn't it?

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It's time now to introduce our next guest.

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He's a talented singer-songwriter

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and star of the hugely successful musical, The Lion King.

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It's Shaun Escoffery!

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APPLAUSE

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Welcome, welcome to the Christmas Big Sing.

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Are you looking forward to Christmas, what have you got planned?

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Oh, I love Christmas.

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Um, just spending time with the family, you know,

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my two daughters and my family, my wife, and...

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I mean, my daughter's three,

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so it's kind of, you know, this is the age of enlightenment almost.

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She knows what Christmas is,

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you know, so really looking forward to it.

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Now, I have to ask you this, how did you...

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How did you get into singing

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cos you didn't automatically strive for it, did you?

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No, I was at college, I was studying architecture

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and a very good friend of mine, Idris Elba...

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-The actor? The actor?

-The actor, yes.

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We all went to college together

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and we were sitting there in the canteen,

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it was kind of something like out of Fame, you know,

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everyone's kind of tapping on the tables and singing etc...

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-LAUGHTER

-And I started to sing,

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and he turned around and he said to me, "W-What course are you doing?"

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I said, "Oh, I'm doing building construction, architecture."

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He went, "No, mate!

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"You definitely should be getting into this business."

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And so, that was the kind of extra kind of push I needed

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to kind of, you know, start pursuing a career in singing.

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-What are you singing for us?

-Do You Hear What I Hear?

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And the reason why I picked this song

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was because it was a plea for peace in 1962

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during the Cuban missile crisis,

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and it's just such a wonderful, beautiful song, you know.

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So, yes, that's why I chose that song.

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Ladies and gentlemen, Shaun Escoffery.

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APPLAUSE

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# Mmmm

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# Yeah, yeah

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# Said the night wind to the little lamb

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# Do you see what I see?

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# Way up in the sky, little lamb

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# Do you see what I see?

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# A star, a star Dancing in the night

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# With a tail as big as a kite

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# With a tail as big as a kite

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# Whoa, yeah

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# Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy

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-# Do you hear what I hear?

-CHOIR: Do you hear what I hear?

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# Ringing through the sky Shepherd boy

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-# Do you hear what I hear?

-Do you hear what I hear?

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# A song, a song High above the trees

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# With a voice as big as the sea

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# With a voice as big as the sea

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# Whoa-oooh-oooh, yeah

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# Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king

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-# Do you know what I know?

-Do you know what I know?

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# In your palace warm, mighty king

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-# Do you know what I know?

-Do you know what I know?

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# A child, a child Shivers in the cold

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# Let us bring him silver and gold

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# Let us bring him silver and gold

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# Whoa-oooh-oooh, yeah

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# Said the mighty king to people everywhere

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-# Listen to what I say

-Listen to what I say

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# Pray for peace, people everywhere

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-# Listen to what I say

-Listen to what I say

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# The child, the child Sleeping in the night

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# He will bring us goodness and light

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# He will bring us goodne-e-e-e-e-ess

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# And li-i-i-i-i-ight

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# Yes, he will

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# Yes, he will Goodness

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# And light

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# Oh, yes, he will

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# Goodness

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# And light. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-Paul Leddington Wright...

-CHUCKLES:

-I can do his job!

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The inspiration for our next carol

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came from a carol service in 1865, in Bethlehem,

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when the writer Phillip Brooks was inspired to write the words

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that 40 years later were set to the now famous tune.

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Please stand...

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LAUGHTER

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-AUDIENCE:

-Aww!

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APPLAUSE

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Now, you are in for a real treat next

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from soul and R&B legend Ruby Turner

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and the 2015 Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year.

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APPLAUSE

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They are here to sing a brand-new Big Sing arrangement

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of a French carol, which is now a firm favourite here in the UK.

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# O holy night

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# The stars are brightly shining

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# It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth

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# Long lay the world

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# In sin and error pining

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# 'Til he appears and the souls felt his worth

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# A thrill of hope

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# The weary world rejoices

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# For yonder breaks

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# A new and glorious morn

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# Fall on your knees

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# O hear the angel voices

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# O night divine!

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# O night when Christ was born

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# O night divine, oh!

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# O night when Christ was born

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# Truly he taught us

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# To love one another

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# His law is love

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# And his gospel is peace

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# Chains shall he break

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# For the slave is our brother

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# And in his name

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# All oppression shall cease

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# The thrill of hope

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# The weary world rejoices

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# For yonder breaks

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# A new and glorious morn, oh

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# Fall on your knees

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# O hear the angels' voices

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-# O night divine!

-O night divine!

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-# O night

-O night

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-# When Christ was born

-When Christ was born

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# O night devine!

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# O holy night

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-# When Christ was born

-O holy night

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# O holy night

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-# O holy night

-O holy night

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# When Christ was born. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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The sound of Christmas from Ruby Turner

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and the Birmingham Community Gospel Choir.

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Our next piece of music is designed to get everyone joining in.

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It's one of our most uplifting carols,

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just bursting with energy and joy.

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APPLAUSE

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Well, wasn't that wonderful?

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It's time now to introduce our Junior School Choir of the Year -

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Ysgol Iau Llangennech.

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Well, I'm surprised that all your heads aren't twice the size they are,

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has it changed the choir any, has it been any different?

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Um, no, I don't think so.

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We're still the choir who just still enjoys to sing.

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Yeah, well, we've got Christmas coming up in just a few days,

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what are you looking forward to most?

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I'm most looking forward about seeing my family

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and spending quality time with them...

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Oh! LAUGHTER

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..and sp... Celebrating the birth of baby Jesus.

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Thank you very much. Quality time with her family, eh, how about that?

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So, now we're going to hear The Baby's Day.

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It's Gwyl y Baban, here's Ysgol Iau Llangennech.

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APPLAUSE

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TRANSLATION:

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# TRANSLATION: Come together and cheer

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# As one, hallelujah. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Weren't they wonderful?

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The Songs of Praise Junior School Choir of the Year.

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Our final star guest

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was lead singer with legendary boy band Boyzone in the '90s,

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before going solo and selling over 20 million records worldwide.

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We're delighted to have him with us today, it's Ronan Keating.

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APPLAUSE

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-Good to see you.

-Great to have you.

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Yes, good to be here, thank you.

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Now, you're going to sing Silent Night, why did you choose that song?

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For me, Silent Night is the...

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It's the perfect Christmas song, it's just...

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It's a simply, classical, beautiful song.

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So, I just thought, "Yeah..."

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To get this opportunity to perform with the choir, with the orchestra

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in the magnificent Albert Hall,

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I thought, "Yeah, that'd be special."

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Well, we can't wait to hear it. Ladies and gentlemen, Ronan Keating.

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Thank you very much, thank you. Thank you.

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APPLAUSE

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# Silent night

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# Holy night

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# All is calm

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# All is bright

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# Round yon virgin mother and child

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# Holy infant so tender and mild

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# Sleep in heavenly peace

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# Sleep in heavenly peace

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# Silent night

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# Holy night

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# Shepherds quake

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# At the sight

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# Glories stream from heaven afar

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# Heavenly hosts sing hallelujah

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# Christ the saviour is born

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# Christ the saviour is born

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# Silent night

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# Holy night

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# Son of God

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# Love's pure light

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# Radiant beams from thy holy face

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# With the dawn of redeeming grace

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# Jesus the saviour is born

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# Jesus the saviour is born. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Thank you.

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Ronan Keating.

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Well, thank you... Thank you to Ronan and to the other star guests.

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Thank you to our singers and musicians

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who have made this year's Christmas Big Sing so very special.

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Yes, it's been wonderful and we do hope that you've enjoyed it at home.

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It's time now for our final carol and what a carol.

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It's such a seasonal favourite that it's difficult to imagine

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Christmas without it.

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So, let's raise our voices and sing Hark The Herald Angels Sing.

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-BOTH:

-Happy Christmas.

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APPLAUSE

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CHEERING

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A feast of carols and festive music from the Royal Albert Hall as star guests Ronan Keating, Alexander Armstrong, Ruby Turner and Shaun Escoffery join hosts Sally Magnusson and David Grant.


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