Christmas is coming and David Rain has written a totally new version of Good King Wenceslas!
“I love the Wenceslas story, but I always struggled with the original song’s placement of “las” (as in Wenceslas) on the downbeat. As a kid, I even thought the words were “Good King Wences last looked out.” Using the 19th century poem by John Mason Neale, I wanted to create a different “feel” to the Wenceslas story, to take it back to its origins in the Middle Ages – hence the medieval touches here and there. Also, the original song was in 4/4, but I felt that a setting in 3/4 would create a better sense of journey, the motive energy behind the story. And the 3/4 time also helps resolve the “Good King Wences last looked out” problem. It allows for the insertion of an extra word, “he”: thus, “Good King Wenceslas, he looked out.” The song is dedicated to my dear uncle Duncan Shaw, whose “retirement project” – developing his own theory of gravity – has been a huge inspiration in my own “late in life” compositional journey.” – David Rain
Sheet Music Available at Cypress Choral Music