When I’ve heard or sung “Once in Royal David’s City” in the past, the title and the bouncy flavor of the music had hidden the beautiful lyrics from me. I read through the lyrics thinking of how I would treat them musically, and was surprised to have a totally different picture in my head. With new respect for the lyrics, I wrote this new music. I aimed for a setting that would be more like a story, added lyrics and music for a chorus, and selected "Our Savior Holy" as the new title because I wanted that to be the center of focus of the song rather than a city; and as a very interesting coincidence, these title words are found precisely in the center of the recording.
I intend to write an arrangement that includes accompaniment, but I like this as-is as a simple carol / hymn. In its typical hymn format, there aren't really dynamics shown, but there are numerous opportunities for dynamic treatment of the music.
The 8.5"x11" sheet music is available for free download, below, or the "Three Christmas Carols" choir booklet (6.875"x10.5") which includes this song may be purchased through the "Add to Cart" button above to the right. To purchase more than one copy, change the quantity and click "Update" after clicking the "Add to Cart" button. Shipping & handling is calculated at the cart page based on location. USPS Priority Mail may be specified at checkout.
An MP3 is available for purchase of Bradley Chapman’s 24-voice recording of this song at any of these links: iTunes, Google Play (Android), Amazon.com/mp3, and CDBaby.com. Bradley’s website is: www.bradsings.posterous.com.
An MP3 is available for purchase of Matthew Curtis’s recording of this song, at his website, here: www.choraltracks.com. Excellent rehearsal tracks (predominant, left-panned, and muted) are also available there.
Also included below is small simple MIDI file below that should play on most computers.
Related: Cecil Frances Alexander, Jesus Christ, lowly cattle shed, manger bed, Mary was that mother mild, little child, alleluia, sing praises to His name