In case you missed all the promotional efforts on Facebook and Twitter, in 2011 I released my version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” as a free download. Try one of the following links to get the song now.
Many thanks go to Lynn Graber of The Recording House for offering to record this Christmas song for free as part of his Christmas 2011 compilation. Six other artists recorded songs with Lynn. I’ve embedded their tracks below for you to enjoy.
As for my recording, I had a lot of fun working with Lynn at his swanky studio. We experimented with new microphone placement and techniques while recording the upright piano. I also was able to track harmonica using an Alesis iO Dock with an iPad and the Ground Up AudioAmps & Cabs iOS app.
“Go Tell It On The Mountain” by Scott Troyer
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Autumn Ashley
“Some Children See Him” by Nathan Metz
“Emmanuel” by Larisa Grisham
“What Child Is This?” by Vanessa Ann Grisham
“Oh Holy Night” by Escaping Yesterday
“Free (A Christmas Song)” by Troy Erbe
In 1907, John W. Work, Jr. published a collection called Folk Song of the American Negro, which contained the first publication of “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” For those listening closely to my version of the song, some of the lyrics have been modified from the original. I altered a few of the words and added a couple lines. Some may want to stone me for changing a classic, but I believe the changes to be improvements that are faithful to our best understanding of the gospel. Review the lyrics on the discography page to see if you can find the changes I made. Let me know what you think via the comments section below.
Go Tell It
This song may seem old-fashioned or out-of-date, but here’s the thing: there are places in the world where people have never heard that “Jesus Christ is born.” They may know the name Jesus Christ (possibly as it is used as a profanity in movies or TV), or they may have limited information (or even disinformation) about this Messiah guy. In spite of the nearly omnipresent accessibility of the internet and prevalence of computers, smart phones, and iDevices, there are still many people uninformed about the central character of the Christian faith. Often, governments prevent their people from receiving information about Christianity or persecute their citizens for spreading the information.
One of the most notorious of these regions of the world is North Korea. With the recent passing of dictator Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean government is likely to change its policies in regards to religious practice. Please read this article from Vernon Brewer, president of WorldHelp, to find out how you can “go tell it on the mountain.” Then donate via this link.
I met my maker. I made him cry.
And on my shoulder he asked me why
His people won’t fly through the storm.
I said: ‘Listen up man they don’t even know you’re born.’
Note to Reader: This is entry is meant mostly to serve as a reminder for myself, but if you find it helpful, that’s great. I was struck today (while shaving) that above all other things I am called to love. That’s my job. I’m not a musician; I’m a professional lover. For me to succeed [...]
Note to Reader: This is entry is meant mostly to serve as a reminder for myself, but if you find it helpful, that’s great.
I was struck today (while shaving) that above all other things I am called to love. That’s my job. I’m not a musician; I’m a professional lover. For me to succeed at my task, I must love endlessly on the people I meet along my path. Nothing else should carry as much weight in my life as the understanding to love the friends, family, neighbors, enemies, orphans, widows, aliens, and outcasts that God puts in my life. In doing so, I serve Christ and fulfill his desires for my life.
I recently was in Orlando with my friends Lynn & Allison, Hoss, and Katie to work on my Christmas album. One of the songs that will appear on the album is “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” I’ve really been wrestling with the last verse.
He made me a watchman upon the city wall,
and if I am a Christian, I am the least of all.
In the weakness of my humanity, I could easily misinterpret the idea of being a watchman to mean that I’m an over zealous policeman, proudly standing guard over my society, all too eager to implement my understanding of swift justice whenever I deem necessary. All too often I find myself (and sadly, the church universal) somehow perverting my responsibility as a Christian to mean that I am to be the tattle-tale hall monitor of life, ratting out people, boycotting corporations and celebrities, enforcing the rules, keeping everyone in line with laws, doctrines, and my own interpretation of God’s directions.
This is the flesh speaking.
This is nothing more than the Liar using my base nature in a sophomoric knee-jerk response to add to the inevitable disharmony of life. What is truly ironic is that my self-righteous response is actually creating disharmony under the guise of Spirit-filled justice. If I buy into this, I am being fooled into perpetuating an “Us and Them” worldview that does not honor God. Like Peter, I am sorely mistaken that my motives are the desires of Christ’s heart, when in actuality I am being like Satan and impeding the work of Christ.
The only true conquerer of evil is to love like God. That is the message of Christ. To live a Christian life is honor Christ by loving others. Am I the least of all?
“Remove my spirit from darkness.
Love, become my hammer.*”
–lyric excerpt from “Ride A Black Swan,” Mary Star of The Sea, Zwan
*I found out that the lyric is actually “Love, become my heaven,” but I like my version better.
On a completely unrelated note, I found this link to pics of tiny cars. Makes me smile. I’d love to zoom around town in one of these things. The one pulling a small camper kills me. Link to the smallest cars you’ve ever seen.
Every time I hear Paolo Nutini, I think of Florida, specifically the time when I was on tour with my friends Lynn Graber and Katie Nelson. On the road we listened to Paolo’s debut disc “These Streets” about a hundred times. Sandy white beaches, convertibles, late night lounging in the pool… Ahh… the memories. I’ve [...]
Every time I hear Paolo Nutini, I think of Florida, specifically the time when I was on tour with my friends Lynn Graber and Katie Nelson. On the road we listened to Paolo’s debut disc “These Streets” about a hundred times. Sandy white beaches, convertibles, late night lounging in the pool… Ahh… the memories. I’ve written about Paolo before, so if you want to find out why I like his music, click here to check out that blog and video. I wanted to post another video of his. This is “New Shoes,” his fourth UK single (his second in the States). I like the UK version of this video because it’s really straight forward; he acts out exactly what he’s singing about. This is refreshingly simple and direct. Good direction for such a light-hearted song. Lynn, this video’s for you. Hope you’re enjoying your time in Florida!