"There's a Song in the Air"

The Season of Expectancy

Luke 3:3-18


Preparing for Christams

Compare and contrast of people who's hearts might not be in it.

Seen in decorating homes



THERE'S A SONG IN THE AIR, tune name CHRISTMAS SONG, was composed by Karl Pomeroy Harrington in 1904 and published the next year in The Methodist Hymnal. Harrington was professor of Latin and director of the glee club at the University of North Carolina, 1891-1899.

Both the author of the words, and the composer of the music were in New England* when they played their particular roles in this song's interesting history.

Josiah Gilbert Holland, a one-time high school drop-out because of poor health, tried his hand successively at photography and calligraphy before enrolling in a medical school. After earning his medical degree and practicing his profession for a few years, he forsook medicine to become the owner and editor of a newspaper, and remained a writer, poet, novelist and editor until his death.

It was in a book of his poems that was published in 1872 that the four stanzas of "There's a Song in the Air" appeared in print for the first time.

Holland's Christmas poem became very popular, and when a new hymnal was being prepared for publication in 1905, three noted composers submitted melodies for "There's a Song in the Air." Since the publishers considered all three tunes to be excellent, the three were printed in the new hymnal, but the melody composed by Harrington became the most preferred and memorable.

Harrington composed the song on a small organ at his vacation retreat while spending some time there in July 1904, on a sudden impulse, he sat at the keyboard of the old organ, and then and there proceeded to compose his lovely melodic tune for Holland's stirring stanzas.

There's a song in the air!

There's a star in the sky!

There's a mother's deep prayer

and a baby's low cry!

And the star rains its fire

while the beautiful sing,

for the manger of Bethlehem

cradles a King!

2. There's a tumult of joy

o'er the wonderful birth,

for the virgin's sweet boy

is the Lord of the earth.

Ay! the star rains its fire

while the beautiful sing,

for the manger of Bethlehem

cradles a King!

3. In the light of that star

lie the ages impearled;

and that song from afar

has swept over the world.

Every hearth is aflame,

and the beautiful sing

in the homes of the nations

that Jesus is King!

4. We rejoice in the light,

and we echo the song

that comes down through the night

from the heavenly throng.

Ay! we shout to the lovely

evangel they bring,

and we greet in his cradle

our Savior and King!

It is a song of Expectancy, anticipation, suspense, animation, excitement, exhilaration, eagerness, and interest. The song that rings in the air during the Christmas season strums those notes. One character in the Birth of Christ who is usually not mentioned at Christmas, one individual who usually is not in any Christmas pageant, Christmas play, Christmas program is actually the herald of those notes of expectancy. It is ultimately charge to prepare the way for the Coming of the Son of God. He is the voice of the "song in the air."

He is introduced in Luke 1:41-45

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"


His role is revealed in Luke 3:3-18 (turn there with me now)

3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

"A voice of one calling in the desert,

'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

6 And all mankind will see God's salvation.'"

7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

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