Love Came Down at Christmas

Writers - Tennant/Rossetti
First released - 2021
Original album - (none)
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

For the 2021 holiday season, Neil and Chris distributed a digital Christmas card that consisted not only of a graphic image but also a brief YouTube video that animates that image to a new song-snippet (less than 25 seconds in length) titled "Love Came Down at Christmas," based on the 1885 poem of the same title by the English poet Christina Rossetti. To a simple piano accompaniment, enhanced toward the end by woodwinds, either real or synthesized, Neil sings:

Love came down at Christmas
Love all lovely, love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Love came down at Christmas

The first three lines quote directly from the opening lines of the Rossetti poem, while the final line deviates from the original poem by simply repeating the first line. The Rossetti original offers two additional stanzas.

These words clearly allude to the traditional Christian origins of Christmas as the festival of the birth of Jesus as the incarnation of God in human form—an act of divine love—yet ideally do so in a relatively ecumenical manner that speaks to more than just the adherents to that faith.

In Annually 2022, Neil described how he wrote the music to this piece himself on the piano, without Chris's involvement, in response to learning of BBC Radio 3 (the British classical station) sponsoring a Christmas carol competition, but he decided against submitting his composition for consideration. It was originally about two minutes in length, but they edited it down to only 20 seconds for the digital Christmas card.


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