So it’s confession time: this song is made up of Christmas leftovers.
It’s those bits of turkey that get put in a pie with leek and bacon. Or made into a turkey curry. Or eaten in sandwiches with cranberry sauce.
Which isn’t to say it’s not any good; very often turkey eaten that way is the best (I think). But this song is, basically, the off-cuts of another song which I wrote with my friend Dan Lank; also a Christmas song, which you can watch below.
Maybe this is the way it happens sometimes. Dan and I went through numerous drafts of ‘Come And See’, but whenever a line or two of mine got cut, I sort of secretly stashed them away thinking they might be useful later.
Turns out, they all were. Well, and then some – I don’t think every line in ‘A Child Is Born’ was originally going to be in ‘Come And See’ – but I know that a good handful were.
It’s a giveaway when you look at the meter/beat-emphases of the verses of each song:
Have you heard
What a wondrous mystery
Has been shown upon the earth(Come And See)
The night is clear
The light of stars sings in the air
They have drawn us here tonight(A Child Is Born)
Head-smack. Too obvious. So I had to come up with a different enough tune that no one would notice (and now I’m telling you all – smart). I hope I succeeded; I quite like the tune I came up with. It’s folksy in the line of other songs such as ’21 July’ and ‘Follow You’. And it perhaps conveys the innocence of childhood, belying the gargantuan reality behind the incarnation, that God himself became one of us. ‘Come And See’ I think delivers that side of it.
So really the two songs belong together, and I should thank Dan almost vicariously for helping me write ‘A Child Is Born’, even though technically all the lines were my off-cuts. He cooked a delicious turkey, and I’ve gone and reused it all six ways.
Why not share either or both songs with your friends this Christmas? We mustn’t stop talking about the real reason for the season, however tired that phrase has become. Good news of great joy never gets old!