Strong Tower

  • Christmas Night
  • Cedar of Lebanon
  • Ringers Requiem
  • St Michael and All Angels, Edenham

  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Soloist(s): Tenor
  • Instrumentation: Piano
  • Published by: Hawes Music

A song-cycle of four songs for tenor and piano.  Also available as individual pieces.

Buy Vocal Score:

I. Christmas Night

in this world.
Moonlit rooftops
the wheeling stars.

The strong tower
and returns
the light.

Above all
the resurrection
colours fly.
The red cross
in the silver sky.

II. Ringers’ Requiem

How the bells ring
in the January night!
Shaking the stars.

In your coffin
the changes ring;
your body baptised
in the deep
waves of sound.

III. Cedar of Lebanon

have drifted down the centuries
as you have thrown wide your arms:

with the bride.
Everlasting arms
over the
mourner’s head.
Yet you exist for these moments –
the winter’s evenings,
when your hidden boughs
throw down
the dying light
on the shade-bound

IV. St Michael & All Angels’ Edenham

I come to lose myself in you,
you ancient walls, you well-worn pews;
your lime-washed walls echo my prayer
and your still still silence comforts care.

Known to all and yet my secret place,
by your first light I seek His face;
I come alone and yet find company:
faithful souls who worshipped here before me.

You are my treasury of the old and new,
you show me the Ancient and Renewing Truth;
the beauty that you hold within this space
was made by man on fire with Heavenly Grace.

My every sense in you is made alive:
you touch my ears, my nose, you fill my eyes;
in you, stone and light, bright colours and dark wood
proclaim the language of the flesh made word.

You are my touching and my meeting place;
in death, in birth, in love and in disgrace
I find myself face down upon your floor
to plead, to thank, to worship and adore.

By All Angels and their captain you are named.
Your bells, your strong white tower, Gospel Truth proclaim;
you stood tall when this village was yet young.
In you ancient tongues His praise was sung.

You are to me a comfort and a gracious gift.
I see you and from this mean world my mind lifts;
You teach me and the graves around your walls
To look to things that last – the end of all.

I come to lose myself in you,
You ancient walls, you well-worn pew;
By letting go I hope to find
The Way, Truth, Life of all mankind.

Words: Andrew Hawes (1954 –   )

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