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Word Made Flesh

Word Made Flesh

I wrote this carol in 2001, and it is dedicated to the memory of my parents, Douglas and Mary Smith.

The title of the carol, Word Made Flesh, alludes to John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” In the body of the carol the phrase Word Made Flesh does not appear directly but is paraphrased as “God speaks, and man is born.” The carol regards the circumstances of Christ’s birth not as unique, but as samples of God’s continuing work “from land to land, from age to age”.

This performance is taken from the CD Hearts and Hands and Voices recorded in 2002 by the choir of Edinburgh Methodist Mission under Graham Morrison (extreme left in photograph). Graham was our musical director for 37 years until his tragic death in 2007 at the age of 57. The track is reproduced here by kind permission of Annette Morrison (front row, farthest left). The solo couplet in Verse 4 is sung by soprano Lynne Baillie (front row, centre). I am at the piano.

Edinburgh Methodist Mission Choir, October 2002. Photograph: Alan Hogg
  1. Deep in the past, Judæa’s sages
    Spoke of the man who was to be.
    Can he put right the wrongs of ages?
    Will he heal wounds and set men free?
    From land to land, from age to age
    God whispers: prophets hear.

  2. High in the hills, uncouth, unfriended,
    Shepherds meet angels, face to face.
    Why are they giv’n God’s message splendid?
    What have they done to earn such grace?
    From land to land, from age to age
    God beckons: poor men come.

  3. Low in the east, some heav’nly feature
    Catches the eye of learned men.

    Whom do they seek? God’s son? God’s creature?
    How did they glimpse the where and when?
    From land to land, from age to age
    God shines, and wise men see.

  4. Close to her breast, an unwed mother
    Welcomes her newborn’s primal breath.
    When did she sense his coming greatness?
    How will she bear his shameful death?
    From land to land, from age to age
    God speaks, and man is born –
    From land to land, from age to age,
    Through rich and poor, naïve and sage
    God speaks, and man is born –
    God speaks, and man is born.

You are welcome to download, print and perform the printed score royalty‐free for any non‐commercial purpose.