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Sweet Bells

from Midwinter Revels by GreenMatthews

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about

We learned this song from One Accord, a superb vocal quartet from Lancashire who opened for us at a gig in Bolton on our 2018 Christmas tour. It’s an alternative take on While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night which adds a chorus to the familiar words. Our version features Sophie on her baroque musette - a French 18th-century bagpipe similar to the Northumbrian smallpipes.

lyrics

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

Sweet bells, sweet chiming Christmas bells (x2)
They lead us on our heavenward way
Sweet chiming bells

"Fear not," said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind;
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.

Sweet bells, sweet chiming Christmas bells (x2)
They lead us on our heavenward way
Sweet chiming bells

"To you, in David's town, this day
is born of David's line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

All glory be to God on high
and on earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to me
begin and never cease.

Sweet bells, sweet chiming Christmas bells (x2)
They lead us on our heavenward way
Sweet chiming bells

credits

from Midwinter Revels, released November 30, 2020
Sophie: voice, baroque musette

Chris: voice, mandocello

Music and lyrics trad. arr. Green

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GreenMatthews Coventry, UK

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, they breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh and relevant for a modern audience. ... more

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