Anthem 2 – How Lovely Shines the Morning Star

Charlotte and Edward outside Manchester Cathedral, on a Holy Trinity Choir residency.

Welcome to Anthem 2 in my attempt to write a new choir anthem every week for a year.

I assumed (there’s my first mistake) that as it was Epiphany this week, the story of the three wise men visiting the stable would be an easy catalyst for a carol, in the same vein as the multiple Advent and Christmas carols I had produced before the turn of the year. I was wrong.

I now realise, looking back over the week, that I was completely exhausted from the return to work and all the other things going on. This is an important lesson for me in creative terms – it’s almost impossible to compose worthwhile music when your brain is tired. Another lesson was to abandon something which isn’t working sooner. After several false starts I ended up setting How Lovely Shines the Morning Light.

Words for Anthem 2:

How lovely shines the Morning Star!
The nations see and hail afar
the light in Judah shining.
O David’s son of Jacob’s race,
my Bridegroom and my King of grace,
for you my heart is pining.
Lowly, holy,
great and glorious,
O victorious
Prince of graces,
filling all the heav’nly places.

Well, what do you think? Let me know on X.com @realanthem52, as a comment below or via email show@anthem52.com

I’d like to thank my daughter, Charlotte, who has been doing some fantastic work for me as part of her college work experience. She has done some quick and detailed research and critiqued the Anthem 52 website amongst other tasks. Well done to her.

Also, well done and congratulations to Paul Walton and Tim Popple whose kickstarter appeal to launch Descants are for life, not just for Christmas is now fully funded – it’s clearly a collection people are very interested in.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has been in contact this week in any way, including Jamie McQuinn, Bob Keeley and Greg Clinton who commented in various ways. 

I hope you will join me next week for a new episode – and a new anthem – only 50 to go – but until then the question remains – will I make it to Anthem 52?


2 responses to “Anthem 2 – How Lovely Shines the Morning Star”

  1. Loved this one, Kevin.
    (Trying to catch up a bit here.)
    Your use of major 2nd intervals here and there in your harmonies, to great effect, and of course the generous meter changes, certainly put some of my favorite elements of Yes music to mind. I think the closing cadence will be stronger with live voices, when the bass of the final chord can carry greater emphasis.

    All the best,
    Greg

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