Saturday, January 12, 2008

Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb"

Here are some YouTube videos for Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb" album and live performance--a sort of biblical theology set to song by a talented musician and songwriter.

Peterson, who hesitatingly calls this a "musical about the birth of Christ," has written:
What makes this bunch of songs unique is that I wanted to remind (or teach) the audience that the story of Christmas doesn't begin with the birth of Jesus. Many people tend to forget or have never even learned that the entire Bible is about Jesus, not just the New Testament.

So the musical begins with Moses and the symbolic story of the Passover (Passover Us) and works its way through the kings and the prophets with their many prophecies about the coming Messiah (So Long, Moses) to the awful four hundred years of silence before God told Mary she'd be having a baby (Deliver Us). After the song called Matthew's Begats, which lists the genealogy of Jesus, the story picks up in more familiar territory with Mary and Joseph and the actual birth (It Came To Pass, Labor of Love). The final song is called Behold, the Lamb of God, which ties together the Passover and the beauty and scope of the story.

And here's a review from the Dallas Morning News:
If you buy only one Christmas CD this year, let it be this one. No doubt, Mr. Peterson is one of the finest singer/songwriters in Christian music. On ‘Behold’ he is joined by some of the other best of the best, including Fernando Ortega, Derek Webb, Jill Phillips and Sandra McCracken. The result is an organic album that relies on strength of writing faithful to Scripture, expert musicianship on everything from piano to hammered dulcimer and vocals that are pure and honest. What you will hear is a new classic in the making.

Here is a listing of the various songs and their lyrics:
  • Gather 'Round, Ye Children, Come lyrics
  • Passover Us lyrics
  • So Long, Moses lyrics
  • Deliver Us lyrics
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  • Matthew's Begats lyrics
  • It Came to Pass lyrics
  • Labor of Love lyrics
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks lyrics
  • Behold the Lamb of God lyrics
Thomas Nelson also recently published Peterson's book, based on the song about the Matthean genealogy: The Ballad of Matthew's Begats: An Unlikely Royal Family Tree. It's a nice hardcover book with wonderful illustrations and the song on CD. I've enjoyed reading (and listening to) it to my daughter.