December 8: Angels We Have Heard on High December 10, 2010Posted by contrapuntalplatypus in About Me, Advent Calendar of Carols, Christianity, Music.
Tags: advent calendar of carols, angels we have heard on high, barbara robinson, best christmas pageant ever
Another traditional favorite. For me this song has a special association: the December that I was in the play “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
For me this is one of the yearly “must-read” Christmas books. The church in a small, sleepy town prepares for the annual Christmas pageant, which never changes: the “perfect” girl is always Mary, the minister’s son always Joseph, and the little kids always get stuck in the Angel Choir. Then one year, double disaster strikes. The woman in charge of the pageant breaks her leg, and the Hurdmans – “the worst kids in town”, famous for swearing, cigar smoking and stealing – show up at church one day and take over every major role. The main character’s mother and substitute pageant director bravely declares that it will be “the best Christmas pageant ever.” But what will happen on Christmas Eve?
Much as I wanted to be one of the Hurdmans, I – like most of the children who auditioned – were assigned to the Angel Choir, with little to do until the near-final scenes when we trooped onstage singing “Angels We Have Heard on High”. The song was cut short by a fire alarm (you’ll have to read the book to find out why. :D). Fortunately, as I recall we got to sing the entire carol later. My favorite bit were the long “Gloria’s” in the chorus – so much fun to sing!
Here’s a gorgeous recording by the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers.