Friday, December 18, 2009

Some Children See Him

Alfred Burt was a jazz musician. A trumpet player. Served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He played in a number of successful bands during his short lifetime; he died at age 34. And he wrote Christmas Carols.

There are a number of these that are known as “The Alfred Burt Carols.” Some of them are well known, others maybe not so much. This happens to be one of my favorites. And the recording I’ve included is one that I’ve admired for many years. Pianist George Winston recorded this in 1981. The lyrics aren’t sung in this one; James Taylor recorded a version of this a couple of years ago that is stunning. But I have always really liked this one, mostly because of its simple beauty.


Some children see Him lily white,
The baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
With tresses soft and fair.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav'n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
With dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
This Savior whom we kneel beside.
Some children see Him almond-eyed,
With skin of yellow hue.
Some children see Him dark as they,
Sweet Mary's Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
And, ah! they love Him, too!

The children in each different place
Will see the baby Jesus' face
Like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
And filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
And with thy heart as offering,
Come worship now the infant King.
'Tis love that's born tonight!



Karen Brook Westhaver said...

Thanks for posting this wonderful piece (completele with lyrics) which is also one of my all time favorite Alfred Burt carols. I knew he sold insurance, but was unaware of his jazz background and more which your wrote. The words...oh the words! And together with George Winston music...unspeakable beauty. Last week the floor of our parlor was littered with flying piano music as I was digging through my files muttering "I KNOW it's in just HAS to be in here...I PLAYED it just a couple years ago..WHERE the heck is it!!!" in madly seeking this George Winston arrangement of "Some Children See Him" as I plan to play it as a piano prelude for the Christmas Eve service. Victory! Found it! More difficult than one would think, even in it's seeming simplicity. Yup. It'll be the Prelude. Now just have to find time to practice it!!!

Sandi said...

I love this song and was to do it as an acapella solo at our church on Christmas Eve. Alas, Mother Nature dumped a bit of a snowstorm, well, more than a bit, here in Minnesota and I didn't get to the church. Neither did the organist. It's what I'll sing next year. :-) And I think another good one would be .... "In the Bleak MidWinter". You have an interesting blog, not at all like the quilting and crafty blogs I usually read. The 70 year old patient story was a good read. Having had parents in care centers and lived around a lot of elderly family and friends, you are's a good sign of life that he can still get into a little mischief. :-)