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WorksChoral MusicBurt Family Carol SeriesCarol of the Stranger

Carol of the Stranger       * NEW! *
SATB a cappella

Lyrics: Michael Dennis Browne
Duration: 2:40 min.
Premiere: The MPR Carolers, Minnesota Public Radio - Dec. 20, 2013
Published by: Abbie Betinis Music Co., AB-080-C13
Available in: Print or Digital Edition (order the score)


  LISTEN (Click to view/hide)
Featured on Classical Minnesota Public Radio

[0:00] Caroling, Caroling (by Alfred Burt)
[1:18] Interview on the Burt Family Carol tradition
[3:30] Christ in the Stranger's Guise (by Alfred Burt)
[6:05] Interview with Abbie on Carol of the Stranger
[10:05] Carol of the Stranger (by Abbie Burt Betinis)
Performed by:
Carrie Henneman Shaw, Linda Kachelmeier, Abbie Betinis (Carol of the Stranger only), Justin Karch, and Eric Bartlett.

  LYRICS (Click to view/hide)
Carol of the Stranger Michael Dennis Browne (2013)
Peace and grace be to this house
      Where all are welcomed in;
Receive the guest, receive this heart:
      Tell the Stranger, tell.

            Tell the Stranger what you cannot tell
            Those who love you and desire your joy:

Make tall your walls, make long these beams,
      Who once believed alone;
Make wide the circle, feed the fire:
      Tell the Silence, tell.

            Tell the Silence what you cannot tell
            Those who love you and desire your joy.

Blessings be upon this place,
      Let every wound be healed,
Let every secret, every dream:
      Tell the Angel, tell.

            Tell the Angel what you cannot tell
            Those who love you and desire your joy.

Peace and grace be to this house,
      All will be returned;
Let every soul be called your own,
      Tell the Mystery, tell.

            Tell the Mystery what you long to tell
            Those who love you and desire your joy.

Lyrics © 2013 by Michael Dennis Browne. These lyrics are under copyright, and may be reprinted from this website only for use in printed concert programs related to this particular musical work. For permission to reprint for any other purpose, please contact the poet.

  PROGRAM NOTE (Click to view/hide)
In 1922, Rev. Bates G. Burt (Abbie's great-grandfather) began writing an original Christmas carol each year and sending it as a greeting card to his friends and family. In 1942, he passed the tradition to his son, Alfred Burt, a jazz trumpeter and young composer, who went on to write a total of fifteen Christmas carols, including the popular Caroling, Caroling and Some Children See Him, now sung and recorded by artists all over the world. Since 2001, Abbie has continued this family tradition.

Carol of the Stranger is Abbie's first collaboration with celebrated poet Michael Dennis Browne, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, where he taught in the English department for thirty-nine years. The poem, which takes its first line from a plaque that hangs above the poet's doorway, will be published in Browne's new book The Voices (forthcoming 2015). The carol premiered on Minnesota Public Radio in December 2013 before being sent - as always - as a Christmas card to family and friends.

Recommended programming: Alfred Burt's Christ in the Stranger's Guise.

  PERFORMED BY (Click to view/hide)
MPR Carolers

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