New Year's Day Big Sing Songs of Praise


New Year's Day Big Sing

Alexandra Burke and Katie Melua are the guest soloists at the Royal Albert Hall as Aled Jones introduces sing-a-long hymns, old and new, sung by five thousand singers.


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It's New Year's Day, and it's the Songs of Praise Big Sing.

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Our special guest stars

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are the fabulous Alexandra Burke and singer-songwriter Katie Melua.

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We welcome our Senior School Choir of the Year,

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the Edinburgh Academy, who, in their first ever visit to the Royal Albert Hall,

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will sing again one of the hymns that made them winners.

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And, of course, there are hymns a-plenty, old and new,

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now that we've rung out the old year and rung in the new.

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ORCHESTRA PLAYS THEME TUNE

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APPLAUSE

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Hello, and a warm welcome to the magnificent Royal Albert Hall,

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and a very Happy New Year to all of you here.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And, of course, a Happy New Year to you, wherever you are.

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Are you ready to sing, ladies and gentlemen?

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ALL: Yes!

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Works every time, you know!

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Of course, the New Year is a time when we like to look forward,

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turn over a new leaf perhaps and make some resolutions.

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Mine was to feel less nervous in crowds.

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-LAUGHTER

-Great place to start.

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As we begin 2012, our first hymn is in praise to God

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for his faithfulness, his provision and his protection.

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Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation.

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APPLAUSE

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You're in wonderful voice, and I hope you enjoyed singing along too.

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That's why it's called The Big Sing - now you know.

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Our first star guest has a certain X Factor.

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She managed to wow those tricky judges - no mean feat.

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Her winning song, Hallelujah,

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became the biggest selling hit in the UK by a female artist ever.

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Please give a Big Sing welcome to Alexandra Burke.

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APPLAUSE

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-Two kisses, as it's New Year.

-SHE LAUGHS

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Everyone here wants to know - what's it like winning X Factor?

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Eh, words kind of cannot describe.

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It was a really big shock cos I never thought for a second that I'd win.

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But it definitely was the best thing to ever happen to my life.

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And I am truly grateful for those who voted for me

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cos it's such a hard show to be on. But it was so much fun.

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-When you're on stage performing, do you feel like God's looking down on you?

-I always feel his spirit.

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I mean, I've always been brought up with God in my life. I always pray before I go and take to the stage.

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And I've got this rule where, if I don't pray, I won't get on stage.

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That's just my routine.

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It calms me down and I think it's always important.

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-What are you going to sing for us now?

-I'm going to sing Hallelujah.

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-Looking forward to it, ladies and gentlemen?

-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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-Alexandra Burke!

-Thank you.

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# I heard there was a secret chord

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# That David played

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# And it pleased the Lord

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# But you don't really care for music, do ya?

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# Well, it goes like this The fourth, the fifth

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# The minor fall and the major lift

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# The baffled king composing hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelu-u-jah

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# Your faith was strong But you needed proof

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# You saw her bathing on the roof

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# Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya

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# She tied you to her kitchen chair

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# She broke your throne And she cut your hair

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# And from your lips she drew the hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelu-u-jah

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# Maybe there's a God above

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# But all I've ever learned from love

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# Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya

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# It's not a cry that you hear at night

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# It's not someone who's seen the light

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# It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelu-u

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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-# Oh-oh

-Hallelujah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelu-u-jah

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# Hallelujah

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# Hallelu-u-jah. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Thank you.

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-Hallelujah for Alexandra Burke!

-APPLAUSE

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Time to sing together again. Our next hymn was written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm,

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who was so inspired and moved by a poem written by his friend, William Runyan,

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that he decided to compose a musical score to accompany its words.

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It's a favourite amongst many. It is Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

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APPLAUSE

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Last week, for our Christmas Big Sing, Welsh junior school Pen Barras

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demonstrated why they received the title Junior School Choir of the Year. I thought they were brilliant.

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Well, as it's New Year's Day, it's appropriate that we have our Senior School Choir of the Year.

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From Scotland, you're about to be amazed.

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Singing Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer,

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please give a warm welcome to the choir from Edinburgh Academy.

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APPLAUSE

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# Gui-i-ide

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# Gui-i-ide

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# Gui-i-ide

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# Gui-i-ide

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# Gui-i-ide

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# Gui-i-ide me

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# Guide me, O thou great redeemer

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# Pilgrim through this barren land

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# I am weak

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# But thou art mighty

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# Hold me with thy powerful hand

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# Bread of Heaven, bread of Heaven

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-# Feed me till I want no more

-Want no more

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# Feed me till I want no more

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# Open now the crystal fountain

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# Whence the healing stream doth flow

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# Let the fire and cloudy pillar

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# Lead me all my journey through

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# Strong deliverer

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# Strong deliverer

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# Be thou still my strength and shield

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# Strength and shield

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# Be thou still my strength and shield

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# When I tread the verge of Jordan

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# Bid my anxious fears subside

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# Death of death and Hell's destruction

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# Land me safe on Canaan's side

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# Songs of praises, songs of praises

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-# I will ever give to thee

-Give to thee

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# I will ever give to thee. #

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APPLAUSE

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And there's me thinking only the Welsh could sing that hymn.

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Well, the Scots clearly can do it, too!

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Absolutely you just put me in my place!

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Have you enjoyed this weekend?

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Yeah. If someone told us a year ago we'd be singing in the Albert Hall,

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none of us would have believed it.

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You're enjoying your singing. Do you want to carry on in the future?

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Absolutely. I mean, we all love singing, clearly,

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but being in a school choir,

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we're always going to keep up.

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-You must be very proud of them.

-I'm delighted.

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I couldn't have predicted what's happened over the last year with this choir.

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It's just been superb from start to finish.

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Well, they deserve all the praise they get.

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Ladies and gentlemen, Edinburgh Academy!

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APPLAUSE

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Our next hymn has a beautiful Celtic melody.

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It's a hymn derived from an eighth-century Irish folk song.

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On this first day of the New Year, it reminds us

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what is worth striving for in life.

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It's the wonderful hymn, Be Thou My Vision.

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APPLAUSE

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It's time now for our next star guest.

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During her career, she's already played on stage for Nelson Mandela,

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with the band, Queen,

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dined at Buckingham Palace with the real Queen,

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walked the great Wall of China

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and performed at the bottom of the North Sea.

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She's never at home! Please join me in welcoming Katie Melua!

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APPLAUSE

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How are you? Happy New Year.

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Happy New Year to you, too.

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What's all this about this gig at the bottom of the sea?

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Well, I got the phone call, and I said yes.

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And I like the thought of doing gigs in strange places!

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And that's a strange place!

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It was indeed, yes.

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What are you going to sing for us?

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I'm going to sing a gorgeous song written by Ron Sexsmith,

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called Gold In Them Hills, and it's from my current album, which is called The Secret Symphony.

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It's got a New Year message, hasn't it?

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Yes, it's got a hopeful message, and the lyrics are beautiful.

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When I first heard it, I fell in love with it completely.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Katie Melua.

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APPLAUSE

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# I know it doesn't seem that way

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# But maybe it's the perfect day

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# Even though the bills are piling

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# Maybe Lady Luck ain't smiling

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# But if we only open our eyes

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# We'd see the blessings in disguise

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# That all the rain clouds are fountains

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# Though our troubles seem like mountains

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# There's gold in them hills

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# There's gold in them hills

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# So don't lose heart

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# Give the day a chance to start

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# Every now and then life says

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# Where d'you think you're going so fast?

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# We're apt to think it's cruel, but sometimes

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# It's a case of cruel to be kind

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# And if we get up off our knees

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# Why, then, we'd see the forest for the trees

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# And we'd see the new sun rising

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# Over the hills and horizon

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# There's gold in them hills

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# There's gold in them hills

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# So don't lose faith

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# Give the world a chance to say

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# A word or two, my friend

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# There's no telling how the day might end

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# We'll never know until we see that

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# There's gold in them hills

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# There's gold in them hills

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# So don't lose heart

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# Give the day a chance to start

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# There's gold in them hills

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# There's gold in them hills #

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APPLAUSE

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Ladies and gentlemen, Katie Melua!

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Our next hymn is a personal favourite.

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Written just 10 years ago by Stuart Townend,

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it has a marvellous, evocative melody that I really just love.

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It's become one of the most popular contemporary hymns.

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It is In Christ Alone.

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APPLAUSE

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That's why I love that song.

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That was utterly fantastic, ladies and gentlemen.

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Time for a change of musical style, as we welcome back to the stage,

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singing Can't Give up Now, it's Alexandra Burke!

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APPLAUSE

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# Ooh, now

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# Hold on, yeah

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# There will be mountains that I will have to climb

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# And there will be battles

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# That I will have to fight

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# Victory or defeat

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# It's up to me to decide

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# But how can I expect to win

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# If I never try?

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# I just can't give up now

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# I've come too far from where I started from

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# Nobody told me

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# The road would be easy

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# And I don't believe

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# He brought me this far to leave me

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# Never said there wouldn't be trials

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# Never said I wouldn't fall

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# Never said that everything would go

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# The way I want it to go

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# But when my back's against the wall

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# And I feel all hope is gone

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# I just lift my head up to the sky

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# And say, "Help me to be strong"

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# Ooohh oh

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# I just can't give up now

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-# Come too far..

-# From where I started from

-..from where I started from

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-# So nobody told me

-# Nobody told me

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-# That the road would...

-# The road would be easy

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# And I don't believe he brought me this far

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# To leave me

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-# I know you didn't bring me

-# No, no, no

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-# Out here to leave me lonely

-# Oooohh

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# Even when I can't see clearly

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# I know that you are with me

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-# So I can't

-# I just can't give up now

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# Said I've come too far

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-# Come too far from where I started from

-# From where I started from, yeah

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-# So nobody told me that the road would

-# Oooh ooh ooh ooh

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# And I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me

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# Hey ey eh

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# I just can't give up now

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# I've come too far from where I started from

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# Nobody told me the road would be easy

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# And I don't believe he brought me this far

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# To leave me

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-# Oooh ooh ooh ooh

-# Nobody told me the road would be easy

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# And I don't believe he brought me this far

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# To leave me

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# And I don't believe he brought me this far

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# To leave me

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# And I don't believe

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# He brought me this far

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# To leave me

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APPLAUSE

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Alexandra Burke, ladies and gentlemen.

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Thank you.

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Let's pull out all the stops now for our final hymn.

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And though it's usually sung at Easter with its triumphant message,

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there's no reason at all why we can't sing it now.

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After all, as we begin a new year,

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we could all do with a generous helping of hope.

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It's the classic, Thine Be The Glory.

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APPLAUSE

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That's nearly it for this New Year Big Sing.

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Thanks to all our guests,

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the Edinburgh Academy, Alexandra Burke and Katie Melua.

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There's just time to squeeze in one more song.

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In fact you probably sang it last night.

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Once the piper strikes up,

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you'll know exactly the song I'm talking about.

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From all of us here on Songs Of Praise,

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we wish you a very happy New Year.

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BAGPIPES PLAY

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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ORCHESTRA PLAYS THEME MUSIC

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Next week another fine collection of rousing hymns

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and Dan Walker looks ahead to the major events of 2012

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destined for the history books

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as he discovers what it was like to be a chorister at the Queen's coronation

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and catches up with Lord Coe at the Olympic Park.

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Alexandra Burke and Katie Melua are the guest soloists in a Songs of Praise spectacular from the Royal Albert Hall as Aled Jones introduces sing-a-long hymns, old and new, sung by five thousand singers.


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