After yesterday's post, I got an e-mail from Jude Roche, thanking me for my kind words about her daughters and happily granting me permission to put up a piece of music from "We Three Kings". I'd asked for permission to use "Star of Wonder", an original composition by Terre Roche which - from the first time I heard it - has become my favourite Christmas song.
I'd often marvelled at the pain and confusion that echo faintly in the song - it has a wistfulness to it that I find utterly compelling. And the story - a shepherd agonizing about choosing between responsibility and faith and wondering why this mantle has been placed on her shoulders - feels so ... I don't know, so human. When I hear a piece of music like this, I always find myself wondering about how it was written - what inspired the artist.
So I was delighted to get a second e-mail this morning - this one from Terre Roche. In part, it says:
Thanks for bringing The Roches' Christmas CD to the attention of your friends. It's one of my favourite records, too. And especially thanks for singling out "Star of Wonder". That's my song of appreciation to my very close friend Joanna Walton, who was killed in a terrorist attack on an airplane over Lockerbie Scotland in 1988. I wrote the song in the middle of the night and have always felt that it came from someplace beyond. Each year people have asked permission to do this song in their choir. Therefore I have posted the sheet music on the Roches website for anybody who would like to sing it.
So now that you know more about it, have a listen to "Star of Wonder" Download14_angels_we_have_heard_on_high.wma . (Don't be thrown by the fact it seems to be "Angels We Have Heard on High" - that's something funky my computer did when naming the cuts. Although that cut is also wonderful, you'll have to buy the CD to hear it.) (And I cannot stress enough how much you should buy this CD)