Advent Day 27: The Heart and Soul Swing Band presents... Love Came Down at Christmas

As Christmas Eve descends upon us, and we ready ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Heart and Soul Swing Band return for this year's Advent calendar with their tune, ‘Love Came Down at Christmas'.

'Love Came Down at Christmas' started life as a Christina Rossetti poem from the collection, Time Flies: A Reading Diary (1885).

In 1907, after some changes to the original text, it migrated into a song, becoming a much-loved hymn. Its simple yet profound message combined perfectly with the traditional Irish melody "Gartan".

In 2021, Rev Dr Robin Hill, minister for Gladsmuir linked with Longniddry, gave it a new tune, "Cordon", with Richard Michael adding subtle keyboard harmonies.

Robin then arranged the piece as a number for the Heart and Soul Swing Band, of which he is a long-time member.

This Willie Ewan recording of the band is accompanied by Alastair Swan's stunning winter photography from Senja, a Norwegian island deep within the Arctic Circle.

Lyrics

Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?
but wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and all the earth.
love for plea and gift and sign.
love, the universal sign.