Julia Wade and Friends – Digital Liner Notes

Rave Review Just In!

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JULIA WADE AND FRIENDS


A Watchfire Music Release
www.watchfiremusic.com

Produced & Orchestrated by PETER LINK
Featuring
JULIA WADE, JENNY BURTON, REBECCA MINOR and PETER LINK

“Is it too early to start talking Christmas? Not when you are celebrating with JULIA WADE AND FRIENDS. This album puts your Christmas favorites in the hands of genius composer, orchestrator, and producer Peter Link and gives them a fresh update. However and fortunately, most of the songs are original Link creations so sit back enjoy Christmas done in a most delightful and unique style.

“Let’s start with a waltz-like “Jingle Bells” that is an adventure of melodious sounds that will make you want to hunt down a sleigh and go for a ride. Then you can move on to “Heaven In His Eyes” executed by the crystal clear soprano of Julia Wade and “I Live The Joy” by the amazing Jenny Burton (when Jenny sings, you feel all is well with the world). And for variety there’s Julia’s Country/Western rendition of “The Night I Met St. Nick” and a jazzy “My Friend Gabriel” beautifully brought forth by Rebecca Minor. The songs that magically combine the voices of Julia Wade, Jenny Burton, Rebecca Minor and Peter Link are true treasures (“Jingle Bells,” “Do You Hear What I Hear”). And when Link does what he does so well – put his memories into songs (“I Remember Christmas,” “Christmas Eve”) - the holiday spirit is upon you. Make friends with JULIA WADE AND FRIENDS – they will be great companions throughout the holidays and provide you with year-long inspiration.”
Laurie Lawson ~Electronic Link Journey

A Note From Peter Link

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This being Julia Wade’s 14th Album, we’ve long been talking about doing a Christmas Album.  Julia and I think that “Julia Wade And Friends – A Christmas Album” is one of our best works together.

We’re excited to share it with you.  What successful artist does not have a Christmas Album?  So, this year we decided it was about time.

Julia and I both wanted to work with some other singers on the album as guest artists, so we invited two very special women who we simply adore – Rebecca Minor and Jenny Burton.  They both bring their best to the album and allow us to do trios and quartets as well.  We are four distinctly different voices, but all most sensitive singers, so finding the blends on several of the songs was both great fun and most challenging.

This is definitely an eclectic album.  But then again, it’s an album for the whole family.  And, after all, Christmas is a time for everybody, so the music reflects that.  It has classics (What Child Is This, Do You Hear What I Hear and Jingle bells) each done in a new and original way – solos, trios and quartets.  And it has what we like to call both Jesus songs and Santa songs, all reflecting the joys and inspiration of the Christmas season.  And best of all, the album has story songs comin’ at you from the pen of composer, Peter Link, all reflecting the multifarious Christmas messages.

Enjoy!  ~Peter Link, composer, orchestrator and producer

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Song List

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Album Lyrics

1. What Child Is this

What Child Is This
Original Melody: Greensleves
Lyrics by William C. Dix
Additional Music & Lyrics by Peter Link

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
What Child is this whom angels greet
This is the Christ, the king
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
What Child is this whom angels greet
This is the Christ, the king
What child is this
On Mary's lap lay sleeping

2. Bird Song

Bird Song
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Silver bird fly

Spiritual bird sing

Bird song

The Christ is born

Spread the word

Let fly

The song of peace

Sweet release

Sail on silver bird

Across the world

Spread the word

A new age dawns

As the silver bird streaks

Across the red sun

Across the rising sun

Sail on silver bird

Across the world

Sail on little bird

And take this message

That the son of God

Has joined us on this earth

And brings us nothing but the good word

It’s the word of God

He brings to all

It’s a kind of peace

That lasts forever

It’s a love that radiates

From one to one another

Never fading away

Sail and sing your song, Bird

As you soar among the mountains

As you wind along the rivers of life

Sing it to each heart

Sing into the mind of mankind

Silver bird fly

From this stable

Humble

Where Christ is born

Spread the word

Go forth

His Kingdom come

A pendulum

Back and forth between

The prophesy

And the unforeseen

The time has come

A new age dawns

And the world will now change

From one of sorrow

To one abounding hope

Sail on silver bird

Across the world

Sail on little bird

And take this message

That the son of God

Has joined us on this earth

And brings us nothing but the good word

Sail and sing your song, Bird

As you wing your way through cities

Through the masses and the chaos of life

Sing it to each soul

Sing it to the shambles of man

Silver bird fly

Unto the people

Tell them

The Christ is born

Silver bird fly

And sing your song

The Christ is born

This Christmas morn

The Christ is born

This Christmas morn

The Christ is born

This Christmas morn

The Christ is born

 

3. Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells
Original Music and Lyrics by James Lord Pierpont
Additional Music and New Lyrics by Peter Link

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bob tail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

Hey! jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

A night or two ago
We thought we’d take a ride
Dashing through the snow
Across the countryside

The moonlight through the trees
And all the wintery white
Was such a wondrous sight to see
We forgot it was the night

Oh what a night it was
Oh what a time it was

We lost all time that night
But finally turned around
Exhausted by the night’s delight
And sadly homeward bound

The air was cold and grey
The quiet most profound
The clip clop of the horse’s hooves
And bells the only sound

Ooooooh jingle bells, jingle bells,
They jingle all the way;
Oh my what a great night it was to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Laughing all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride

As we slide across the countryside

Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

 

 

4. The Night I Met St.Nick

The Night I Met St. Nick

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link
 
I was hiding ‘hind the sofa
When he came down the chimney
Cuz I did not believe
He could ach-ally come down the chimney
But he came down the chimney
Just like they always said he would
Uh hum yeah
With a grunt and a whoosh ... and kerplop!

It amazed me so, I forgot I was hiding
So, I stood up in amazement at a fat man in a red suit
With a scowl upon his face.
“What in tarnation are you doing up now
At this ungodly hour, young lady?”
He said as he texted on his iPhone back up North to his elf

“Well, Mr. Claus,” I replied, most polite,
“I guess I just had to see for myself!”

“Well now you’ve gone an’ done it!”
As he pulled out his list.

“Let’s see here uuuuuuhhhhh, you must be young Julie
Is that right?”
“Well, that’s right!” said I.
“Well you’re now in big trouble, sure as pie”

“I got a most busy schedule now you’re makin’ me late
Right now I oughta be back in my sled instead
So go ahead now ... an’ go back to bed!
And doncha be peakin’ through the keyhole.”

When I got up that morning — that Christmas morning—
There was nothing in my stocking but a lump of coal
Rats

I woulda cried my eyes out, but remember, good people
It was just a dream
Just a dream ...
It was just a dream about the night I met St. Nick

I donno if he was a saint, but he sure was cute!
OK, don’t go away.  There’s more to this story.

Next Christmas Eve I was hidin’ again ‘hind the sofa
As he whooshed down the chimney
“I remember you,
You’re that girl, you’re Julie,”
That’s right, cutie pie.
“You were trouble from the git go
An’ now you’re back again, my friend.
Uh hum yeah
This ain’t right an’ it’s just got to stop”

“Only this time ach-ally I’m kinda glad ta’ see ya’,
I’m a little bit stuck here
Got a flat tire on a reindeer
An’ I’m plum done outa spares.”

Who ever heard of such a thing like that?
Well now remember, good people
It was just a dream
Just a dream …
It was just a dream about another night I met St. Nick

I never promised it would make much sense.

So I grabbed him my ol’ trusty bicycle pump
An’ we went swoosh up the chimney in a flash

And there stood Dasher, Dancer, Prancer an’ the others
I fixed that ol’ flat tire in the blink of a lash
An’ old Saint Nick was off like a shot

He’s shoutin’ “Merry Merry Christmas” across the sky
“To all a Happy Happy New Year”
He never looked back
He never said thanks
He just disappeared into the clouds

Hold on, just wait a minute, Santa!
Here I am stuck on the roof!
An’ no way I’m goin’ back down that chimney
It’s too darn dirty an’ I just don’t have it in me
An’ besides you never even said thank you

When I got up that morning — that Christmas morning —
My stocking was filled to the brim and overflowing
Presents in the kitchen
Presents in the bath tub
Presents in the attic and presents in the shed
And even one more under the pillow in my bed.

I coulda cried my eyes out
At all the presents he left me
But then again my friend
It was just a dream
It was just a dream about the night I met
Or was it?
Nah …
It was just a dream about the night I met St. Nick
 

5. I Live The Joy

I Live The Joy
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

I live the joy of Christmas
I feel it every day
I keep the Christ in me
Tucked away

And when the mountain comes my way
I climb with him
I feel the joy
I live it
I reach right down inside
To touch the Christ
I live the joy

I live the joy of Christmas
I feel the hope within
I know the rush of life
Under my skin

I feel the angels in the air
They watch over me
They gather ‘round me
They ground me
They remind me of
Just who I am
I live the joy

Joy joy joy joy
I’m livin’ the joy of Christmas
I’m feelin’ it all here inside of me
I’m feelin’ the joy hmmm

Oh it’s joy
Joy joy joy joy
Oh it’s joy
I’m livin’ the joy of Christmas
Livin’ the joy of Christmas
I’m feelin’ it all here inside of me
All here
I’m feelin’ the joy hmmm
Joy

I live the joy
I live the joy of Christmas
I live the joy

6. Do You Hear What I Hear

Do You Hear What I Hear
Music and Lyrics by Noel Regney & Gloria Shayne

Do you see
Do you hear
Do you know
Listen

Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see

A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear

A song, a song
High above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
In your palace warm mighty king
Do you know what I know

A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say

The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

Do you hear what I hear
He will bring us goodness and light

7. I Remember Christmas

I Remember Christmas
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Names and moments and faces and words
Names and moments and faces and words
Names and moments and faces and words
The things of my past now a little bit blurred

Ya’ see sometimes my mind gets hung up in the fluff
Yeah it’s mostly superfluous useless stuff
But occasionally something of note gets lost
My neurons and synapse and wires get crossed
And it drives me a little bit crazy
When it’s all a little bit hazy
Then is gone in the blink of an eye

Now the ol’ mem’ry’s usua’ly pretty good I trust
Most of the time
It works just fine
But some of the time
Well, it just turns to dust

But I remember Christmas
And I remember tinsel
And I remember stockings hung with care
I remember children and bells
And angels with wings and ribbons of silk
And chimneys and cookies and milk

I remember mistletoe
And men of snow
And reindeer prancing on tiptoe
French toast a’toasting and chestnuts a’roasting,
And silent night
Oh what a night!

Yes I remember Christmas
And I remember angels
And I remember light in Bethlehem
I remember Mary and Joseph
And that little babe that lay in the hay
And the shepherds and the wise men three

And I know that God was there
And hope was there
And the music came down from the heavens
And the star above sang
Of the promise of peace
In a silent night
And all was so bright

Well ya’ know I must have forgotten more than I know
But at least I know what I’ve not forgotten
The insignificant lost long ago
The mostly unnecessary lost long ago

But I remember Christmas
I remember tinsel
And I remember stockings hung with care
I remember children and bells
And angels with wings and ribbons of silk
And chimneys and cookies and milk
I remember mistletoe and men of snow

Yes I remember Christmas
I remember Christmas
Yes I remember Christmas

8. And That's Enough

And That’s Enough
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
But they weren’t ringing them for me
I woke that morning just like any other kid
Knowing it would be right there, under the tree
Dressed in silver and gold with red ribbons
Waiting there
Waiting there just for me

But as the day went by
And time ran out
The hope inside my heart just slipped away
Cuz I didn’t get what I wanted
And I kinda felt cheated
I thought this was to be my special day

I knew my ma was watching me
I know she knew just how I felt
Since Dad had left us it was only just us two
It was tough enough to deal with all we were dealt
Mama said, “Darlin’, oh girl I wanna talk to you
You know,
Now we’re just scraping by and oh baby
If I could, I would buy you the world” she cried.

“But now it’s time for truth
Ya’ know, it’s just not your day
This day is really all about another child
An’ I’m so sorry

“So ya’ didn’t get what cha wanted
But ya’ got what you needed
We got love in our life and that’s enough”

We got love in our life
And that’s enough
Love in our life
And that’s enough
That’s enough
That’s enough for us

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
And they were ringing just for us
For us
For us
And that’s enough

9. My Friend Gabriel

My Friend Gabriel
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

My friend Gabriel
As long as I have known him
Could play that trumpet
Oh yes, he could play

I would hear him in the night
Soaring
Oh Lord he could play that horn

I would hear him in the day light
Pouring out those brilliant notes
And sounding forth the music of God

Oh my
Oh yes
That Gabriel
He could play

My friend Gabriel
Was also quite the angel
Besides that trumpet
Oh yes, he could speak

He was always God’s first call
That Gabriel
To bring the word of God unto the world

And whenever God had something
Something mighty big to say
My friend Gabriel was the messenger of God

Why I remember way back when,
His immortal words,
As he changed the face of the world

He said, “I am Gabriel
And I stand in the presence of God;

“Oh fear not, Mary: for thou hast found God’s favor
And, behold, thou shall conceive,
And bring forth a son,
(Oh yeah
I wish I could play my horn)
And you shall call his name JESUS.”

“And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

It was Gabriel spoke these words
That live on today
Yes the night I remember most
Was the night I heard him play
On the night the child was born
And I got so excited
They had to carry me away

I remember that night
Oh my that Gabriel he could play
Yes the night I remember most
Was the night I heard him play
The night the child was born

Doncha know that angel could play that horn
Oh my that Gabriel could play

10. Heaven In His Eyes

Heaven In His Eyes

Lyrics by Dora Redman

Music by Peter Link

 

The star hovered above a stable

And the light from the star lit up the space

I just stood there at a distance

Above this meek and lowly place

This wasn’t what I expected to find

And I wondered why the savior of mankind

Would come to us in this humble way

Just lying there on a mere bed of hay

But I saw heaven in his eyes

It’s not a distant place way up in the skies

Above the moon and stars

With pearly gates and streets of gold

And all the other wondrous things that I’ve been told

But much to my surprise

I found that Heaven is within

It’s a home inside my heart where I’ve always been

And I carry it with me

Yes I carry it with me everywhere I go

Yes I found Heaven

When I saw heaven in his eyes

So I stood there right there before the manger

Only stillness and calm could be found

Even though I’m called a wise one

I was too moved to voice a sound

Anticipation led me right to my knees

And the sweetest of moments

Filled me with such ease

And lifted my perception so I could see

When the Christ child in delight looked at me

Then I saw heaven in his eyes

It’s not a distant place way up in the skies

Above the moon and stars

With pearly gates and streets of gold

And all the other wondrous things that I’ve been told

But much to my surprise

I found that Heaven is within

It’s a home inside my heart where I’ve always been

And I carry it

Yes I carry it with me everywhere I go

Yes I found heaven

When I saw heaven in his eyes

Then I saw heaven in his eyes

11. Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

On this night the world is blue
Snow light and frosting bring a silent
Anticipation of dreams

Oh night thou flows so slowly
When I awake in the morning
Will all be as promised?
Will there be peace on Earth?
And what will there be for me beneath the tree?

On this night before this day
Children are sleeping with their sox on
Waiting for Christmas to begin

The stockings are hung
The sleigh bells jingle
Outside
Then up on the roof
I’ll hear the footsteps
So lightly they prance
While sailing through the sky

Oh what a night is Christmas Eve
Oh what a long long night
And oh how I ache for Christmas morning
Wishing the night goodbye

Listening for the signs of him
Squeezing his belly down our chimney
How does he manage the fire?

Mom told me
“Santa’s quite magic”
He can go back up
Through the chimney
Even after he eats
All the cookies we left for him

On this night the world is blue
Moonlight keeps falling through my window
Making me wonder how reindeers fly

And how will he know of all my wishes
And grant them?
And what if he knows I lie here waiting
And can’t go to sleep?
Will he just pass me on by?

Oh what a night is Christmas Eve
Oh what a long long night
And oh how I ache for Christmas morning
As the child in me is waiting
And waiting
And waiting
And waiting
And waiting
And waiting …

12. Quite A Time

Quite A Time
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Isn’t it quite a time
Holy
Isn’t it quite a day
Christ is born
Isn’t it quite a place
This manger
Here in the Father’s house
On this day

Isn’t he quite the child
Sleeping
Feel the peace he brings
Child of God
Isn’t it quite a thing
Of wonder
Here in the miracle
Of this day

In this simple backcountry stable
The Father’s son, the savior is born
Born into this humble straw cradle
And now the world awaits the promise of this
Glorious morn

Isn’t it quite a time
Hosanna
We welcome ascendant man
This sweet child
Here in our Father’s house
Holy
And oh how the world will change
From this day forth

It’s time to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu
Hallelujah
Isn’t it time to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelu
Hallelu

Here beneath a star we have gathered
Here in that manger
Here to celebrate this moment sublime
Knowing that we stand on this threshold
Glorifying God in this moment in time

Isn’t it quite the hour
Holy
Isn’t it quite the time
To celebrate
Gloria
It’s a new day of promise
Isn’t it quite the day
Of promise
Isn’t it quite a time
The Christ is born
Isn’t it quite a time
Isn’t it quite a time
Isn’t it quite a time for Heaven
To come and visit Earth
Isn’t it quite a time
Whoo Whoo Whoo Whoo

13. All I Want For Christmas

All I Want For Christmas
Music and Lyrics by Donald Yetter Gardner

 

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

My two front teeth

Ooooooohhhhh

My two front teeth

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

So I could wish you Merry Christmas

 

 

 

Read Peter Blog, Sparks from the Fire ...

Julia Wade and Friends - Part 1 - About The Album

I’ve always wanted to create a Christmas Album.  I’ve written a few Christmas songs in my life — up until a couple of months ago, actually two.  I have always kept a stock of favorite Christmas CDs – a Barbara Streisand one, a James Taylor one, a Bebe Winans one – that sort of thing.  Oh, and there’s also WFM’s own “The Twelve Songs of Christmas” a compilation of some of our company’s best Christmas songs that I haul out every Christmas day and enjoy. Read More

Julia Wade and Friends - Part 3 - What Child Is This

The earliest reference to the original melody, Greensleeves, that I could find was to one Richard Jones in London way back in 1580.  It is purported that he wrote the melody as an ode to his lady who wore green sleeves.  I’ll let you dig into this further if you wish in Wikipedia.  It’s a bit of a ribald tale. Years later, in 1865, William Chatterton Dix wrote the lyrics to the version of this beautiful ancient melody passed down through the ages to us today. Read More

Julia Wade and Friends - Part 3 - What Child Is This

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Julia Wade and Friends - Part 4 - Jingle Bells

We wanted to do a Christmas Album melding some of the classics with some new songs.  We also wanted to meld the spirit of Santa Claus with the soul of the birth of Jesus.  We also needed energy because so many of the classics are ballads.  Lastly, if we handled a classic, I wanted to make sure that we brought something new to it.  What is more classic than Jingle Bells?  But oh how that has already been done!  I researched the song and found a most interesting story.  “Jingle Bells was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” in the autumn of 1857.” (Wikipedia) The story goes that our Mr. Pierpont wrote the song for a church choir Thanksgiving event, but the song was turned down by the church board as being too secular. Read More

Julia Wade and Friends - Part 1: Jenny Burton

I work in a very collaborative medium and yet, when it comes to solo recording projects, it can start to feel a little lonely sometimes.  That’s why it is such a pleasure and a joy to work with friends and admired colleagues whenever possible on my recordings ... I count Jenny to be one of my most enduring musical influences.  It’s true that we could not be more different as singers and musical artists, but I have learned from her by her example, her singing and her instinctual approach to music.  Read More

Julia Wade and Friends - Part 2: Rebecca Minor

Rebecca Minor – Oh, how I love this Sister Singer!  Rebecca is a petite but powerful force and when she sings, her tone bespeaks an intelligence and maturity as well as a gorgeous purity. I have always loved listening to Rebecca sing — and I have always loved listening to her sing her own songs in particular.  Rebecca’s got this sweet high pop voice that soars and serenades with a really wonderful pop vibrato that is so indelibly her own signature.  And that purity of tone draws me in and makes me listen to her message.  Read More

Julia Wade and Friends - Part 3: Peter Link

Well. I am overwhelmed at the prospect of writing about the prodigious, creative force that is Peter Link -- who is, among other things, my producer.  Instinct urges me to wax poetic.  However, in homage to Peter-Link-The-Director, who constantly asks me keep it short, my goal is to be succinct.  Ah, not an easy task when there is always so much to talk about!  Among family and friends, we like to say “Peter Link is A LOT of things.”  And I am here to attest to that fact.  Read More

Photo Shoot NYC Style

We are getting close to the finish line! Yesterday was a wonderful day takin' pictures for the Christmas album and more -- with the wonderful Eric Stephen Jacobs!  Eric and I have worked together on many projects -- headshots and album covers. And we got to do it again! Read More