O Come Little Children (sacred)

adapted/arr. John Riggio

John says, "If you perform only one version of this song, put this magazine down and go find your copy of Music K-8, Vol. 11, No. 2 and perform that one, 'cause that one is the bee's knees. If, on the other hand, you can handle a change of vibe and/or you want to do it more than once, then perhaps this version is for you!"

Okay, all kidding aside, John considers Teresa Jennings' arrangement of "O Come Little Children" to be the definitive version. It's just that good. That said, for an Italian guy, John does some mean Celtic arrangements, and this one is no exception.

This song begins with a lively motif that features fiddle and penny whistle (played by Kara Day and Greg Imboden, respectively), strings, and lots of big drums. Part of that drum sound is a bodhran, used widely in Celtic music, and played for us by Steve Hanna. You'll also hear some amazing acoustic guitar noodling played by Sandy Williams, who adds electric guitar power chords to the blend, too.

The melody is the one you grew up with, the one that reminds you of the call of childhood, with the exception of bars 30 and 31, which is new material. The melody is also covered on piano and nylon guitar for reinforcement, and just because it sounds cool.

As a bonus, we've recorded both secular (track 3) and sacred (track 33) lyrics to this song, so you have a performance choice. We are providing the piano/vocal for the secular version in this issue, but if you would like the sacred piano/vocal, you can access it for free at our web site. You will also find the student part for the sacred version there. (See page 77 for details.) We do, however, include both sacred and secular lyric pages in this issue. Of course, the instrumental tracks work with either version.

Part 2, which is optional, comes in on the repeat at bar 9. Please note that the pick-up to 33 in part 2 starts on an E instead of F#, to accommodate the chord. To help your students learn this part, we have isolated it and put it on our web site, too. In fact, we did this for both secular and sacred versions to be sure you had what you needed. (See page 77 for details.)

If you have in your midst talented drummers or Irish dancers, this song would lend itself well to ad libbed frame drum parts (like the bodhran or hand drums) or choreographed dancing.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.