CD 5 -
"Alleluia", released in Oct 2016, is The Priests' fifth album, produced by Frank Gallagher / Red Essential.
Track Listings and Samples
Morning Has Broken
Fr David: “First published in 1931 with words by Eleanor Farjeon and set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic melody, "Bunessan", this simple hymn celebrates the glory of new day as an evocation of the freshness, brightness and beauty of the very first day of Creation.
It alludes to the Divine Word, through whom all things came to be, and to the Incarnation of that same Word who once walked in the midst of His creation, bringing with Him new life in all its glorious abundance. 'Morning Has Broken' is joyful, uplifting, exuberant and hopeful.“
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
Fr Martin: “Written by Johann Sebastian Bach, this song automatically draws the listener into the dramatic passion of Christ -
Nearer My God To Thee
Fr Eugene: "Because we live near Belfast, in whose famous dockyards The Titanic was built, we always associate this hymn with the deaths of the many hundreds who tragically perished when the ship sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912. It is said this hymn was sung by those passengers who did not make it to the lifeboats. May they rest in peace."
The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
Fr David: “This setting of Psalm 23 by Howard Goodall was popularised and became instantly recognisable nationally in the UK as the theme to the BBC TV series, The Vicar of Dibley, yet it was always intended by the composer to have a life of its own as a piece of church music. This intent has certainly been fulfilled as this setting of Psalm 23 has become a firm favourite of choirs and audiences alike.
The Priests are delighted to have received the composer's 'blessing' in their efforts to give his beautiful composition a new 'incarnation'.”
Be Thou My Vision (The Priests | Moya Brennan)
Fr Eugene: "This is an ancient Irish melody. In contemporary English hymn books the melody is called "Slane" and can be sung to a variety of words. Our version comes from an ancient source, attributed to the martyr-
You Raise Me Up
Fr Martin: “A wonderful song composed by Rolf Loevland of the Secret Garden, with lyrics by Brendan Graham. Brian Kennedy from the North of Ireland brought this song to light in the UK and Josh Groban made it famous across the world. There is a spiritual message which speaks straight to the soul and lifts your spirit. This music will bring a sense of comfort and reassurance, hope and inner calm.”
Lord of The Dance
Fr Martin: “This is an evocative piece of music that focuses on the incredible joy of God becoming like us and how Christ's rising from the dead fills us with a renewed sense of hope and new life. The music and words invite us into the dance of love and what a dance that can be!”
Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)
Fr Martin: “When you think of Ave Maria, then this is one of those iconic pieces by Gounod that will be forever in the musical repertoire. There is a passionate prayerfulness in which the listener and indeed singer entreat Mary, asking for her intercession and support. Sung by a wide variety of people and heard in many contexts, this music beckons us into an oasis of peace and tranquility.”
Alleluia (Pachelbel’s Canon)
Fr David: “Little is known about the date or circumstances of the composition of this Canon by the German baroque composer Johann Pachelbel (1653-
The gentle 'Alleluia!' of the opening soon gives way to joyful exclamations of 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo!' and 'Hosanna in Excelsis!' Rising to a climax with 'Jubilate Deo!', the piece ultimately returns to the more gentle 'Alleluia' of the opening and finishes, fittingly, with 'Amen'.
This inventive re-
Down in the River to Pray
Fr Martin: "This song comes from 'Slave Songs of the United States' and was entitled 'The Good Old Way' in 1867. It echoes the past and the possible celebration of baptism with full emersion. There is a stepping away from the hustle and bustle of life, retreating in the best way and being renewed. So let us answer the request, 'Come on down...'"
Ave Verum (Jenkins)
Fr Eugene: "This version of St Thomas Aquinas' meditation about Jesus, the Son of God and son of Mary, is set to music by the contemporary Welsh composer, Sir Karl Jenkins. 'Hail the true body (of Christ) born of the Virgin Mary'."
Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat A Íosa
Fr Eugene: "A hundred thousand welcomes and glory and honour to you, A Íosa / Lord Jesus.
In the Irish language visitors are frequently greeted with the gaelic word "Fáilte" which means "Welcome" and "Céad Míle" means a 100,000. It's an expression of total joy and in this traditional Irish hymn it is reserved for the Lord."
Panis Angelicus (Casciolini)
Fr David: “’The bread of angels becomes bread for mankind. The heavenly bread ends all symbols. Oh, miraculous thing! Given by God to nourish the poor and humble servant.’
St Thomas Aquinas, O.P., (1225-
Hallelujah Chorus (from Handel’s Messiah)
Fr David: “Handel's famous oratorio, 'Messiah' had its debut performance in Dublin on 13 April 1742, almost a year before its London premiere. It's popularity has increased steadily to the point where it is now one of the most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
The Priests are, of course, no strangers to this work, having been involved in countless performances over the years. Always a firm favourite around Christmas time, it is customary for audiences to rise to their feet and participate with great gusto in the glorious finale to Part II that is the 'Hallelujah Chorus'. This is a real singalong. So, throw off your inhibitions, pump up the volume and go for it! Hallelujah!!”
Fr Eugene: "Written, sung and made famous by The Beatles, the song is about the loneliness and isolation of many people in today's world. It's about the faces we sometimes wear to disguise our vulnerability and the needs of others that we all too frequently ignore."
"Love of music must be one of the great humanizing elements in life.
Music has often been called in international language
because it transcends all boundaries of race, religion, colour and culture."