The Star Over Bethlehem Concert

by Blake

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about

I released my “Rock Opera”, ‘Star Over Bethlehem’ in December 2013. The LP, which was inspired by 'Jesus Christ, Superstar', 'Hair' and the Christmas songs of Jake Thackray, tells the story of the Nativity from the points of view of Mary, Joseph, Herod and other Biblical characters. When I wrote it, I envisaged staging a theatrical production, but this hasn’t yet come to pass. I am still waiting for the call from Lord Lloyd-Webber! The nearest I got was the launch concert which took place on 6th January 2014. Nearly the whole album was performed live in a church with the help of some of my wonderful musician friends, and I managed to get a decent recording of the show. It is available exclusively on Bandcamp as a free download.

Amazingly, I was invited by the Holy Land Trust to perform some of the songs from ‘Star Over Bethlehem’ in Bethlehem the following summer at the Bet Lahem Live Music Festival. It was such a privilege to be on the stage there performing songs inspired not only by the Christmas story, but by the struggles that that city continues to undergo to this day. Jesus was born into unrest in Bethlehem and was forced to flee the city with his parents to escape persecution. I attempted to highlight some of the parallels between occupied Palestine then and now in the songs I wrote.

The 'Star Over Bethlehem' album is available to download on Bandcamp and includes eleven additional songs which were not finished in time for the original 2013 release date: thisisblake.bandcamp.com/album/star-over-bethlehem

Profits from the sale of that album go towards the SIRA school in Bethlehem for children with learning disabilities and to Musalaha Ministry of Reconciliation, a Christian organisation promoting reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian communities, with a focus on young people:

www.embraceme.org/partner/sira-school
www.musalaha.uk

credits

released January 6, 2014

All songs written by Julian Pugsley.

Recorded at Holt United Reformed Church on 6th January 2014. Sound engineer: Richard Bousfield.

Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar
Amy Jarvis - vocals, percussion
Joe Brown - organ, bass, glockenspiel, piano, mandolin, vocals
Helen Bousfield - bass, flute, concertina
Phineas Gale-Sides - cajon, percussion
Paul Kench - lead guitar on "Lay It Down' and 'The King Is Here'; slide guitar on 'Star Over Bethlehem'

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about

Blake Bath and North East Somerset

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the UK. Sign up to my mailing list and receive a free download of my track 'Vinyl Junkie': eepurl.com/dV04f

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Track Name: Marry Me
Marry Me

I could make you a table, Mary
I could make you a chair
I could make you a cradle, Mary
You could make me an heir!

I could make you a wardrobe, Mary
I could you make you a chest
I could make you anything Mary
What would you like best?

Mary, Mary

Look at this beam now, Mary
It’s strong and it’s true
What I really mean, dear Mary
I’d do anything for you

I could make you happy Mary
All I have I’ll share
Won’t you turn around dear Mary
You’ve got shavings in your hair

Mary, marry me
Track Name: Nightmares
Nightmares

Now I can hardly sleep I’m burdened by all these dreams I have
Fears welling from the deep and cares that I never used to have
Sometimes I sit and weep I miss all the simple joys I had
How can I get back?

Nightmares, nightmares, nightmares am I to be
Lost in the dark how can I escape?
Nightmares, nightmares, nightmares following me
Lost in the dark and I’m losing control
O lord please save my soul!
Track Name: The Lord Is With Thee (Annunciation)
The Lord is with Thee (Annunciation)

Mary, Mary, Mary the Lord is with thee
Blessed, Blessed, Blessed among women
Thou shalt conceive, bring forth a son and shalt call his name Jesus

How shall this be? How shall this be? Seeing I know not a man
Holy, Holy, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
The power of the most high shall overshadow thee
The child shall be called the Son of God
Track Name: I Believe (Magnificat)
I Believe (Magnificat)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
My spirit doth rejoice for he has poured
Most mercifully his love on me

He has cast the mighty from their thrones
And to the meek and lowly he has shown
His majesty now I believe

I Believe I Believe
Your baby jumps for joy within you
I Believe I Believe I Believe

Scattered far the proud in their conceit
Sent away the rich for his promise to keep
To Abraham and all his sons

He has filled the hungry with good things
To his servant Israel he will bring
A Saviour King now I can sing

I Believe I Believe
Your baby jumps for joy within you
I Believe I Believe I Believe
Track Name: Sit Down
Sit Down

Joseph sit down there’s something I must say
I had to come round I had to find a way
My heart is aching and my mind just cannot rest
I cannot take in the way we have been blessed

I am uncertain how you’ll feel
I hope your love for me is real

Mary sit down what troubles you this night
Why does your face frown let me help you put things right
Soon we will marry and forever live as one
So don’t you tarry come and tell me what is wrong

I know for certain how I’ll feel
I know my love for you is real

Joseph...
Mary...
I’m scared
Track Name: Pierced
Pierced

All that I wanted
Is here at last
And all that we prayed for
Has finally come to pass

Time after time, time after time
Your love has pierced me
Time after time, time after time
Your love has pierced me

Oh your love has pierced me
Oh your love has pierced me

All of our longing
Is now fulfilled in thee
And for our transgressions
Such cruelty

Time after time, time after time
Your love has pierced me
Time after time, time after time
Your love has pierced me

Oh your love has pierced me
Oh your love has pierced me

A babe born to save us
To suffer his part
And enter our darkness
It pierces me to the heart

Time after time, time after time
Your love has pierced me
Time after time, time after time
Your love has pierced me

Oh your love has pierced me
Oh your love has pierced me
Track Name: Now I Must Leave Her
Now I Must Leave Her

Now I must leave her
I’ll do it quietly
I’ll send her far away
Far from her family

Oh but I love her
My heart is torn in two
All of the plans we’d made
I just can’t believe it’s true

Joseph Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife
Joseph Joseph by the Holy Spirit the child was given life

Ah but she’s guilty
It’s plain for all to see
I promised her everything
How could she do this to me

She seemed so innocent
I can’t stand this jealousy
I would give anything
To find out who stole her from me

Joseph Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife
Joseph Joseph by the Holy Spirit the child was given life

How can I forgive her
My friends all mock me in the street
How can I be with her
Can I believe she didn’t cheat?
Track Name: Shout It From The Rooftops
Shout It From The Rooftops

Shout it from the rooftops
Say it in the streets
Our God is coming
Tell all you meet
Call down from the mountain
Cry have no fear
The Lord our Saviour
Will soon be here

Shout it from the rooftops
Scream it in the squares
Our God is coming
Cast off your cares
Call down from the mountain
Cry have no fear
The Lord our Saviour
Will soon be here

Shout it from the rooftops
All over the land
The Kingdom of Heaven
Is close at hand
Call down from the mountain
Cry have no fear
The Lord our Saviour
Will soon be here
Track Name: The Olive Trees
The Olive Trees

Oh my love come down with me
Down amongst the olive trees
Oh my love come down with me
Oh my love it is so nice
In this earthly paradise
Oh my love come down with me
They’ve been here a thousand years
Now they cry a thousand tears
Oh my love come down with me

If they cut them down
If they cut them down
If they cut them down
The earth screams
The people’s dreams die

They bring swords and they bring shields
Soldiers keep us from our fields
Oh my love let’s save the trees
Rich in oil at harvest time
The lifeblood of Palestine
Oh my love let’s save the trees
They will never understand
We are rooted in this land
Oh my love let’s save the trees

If they cut them down
If they cut them down
If they cut them down
The earth screams
The people’s dreams die

Oh my love come down with me
Down amongst the olive trees
Oh my love come down with me
Track Name: Don't Worry, Mary/No Room
Don’t Worry, Mary/No Room

Joseph I’m tired the journey’s been long
I don’t have the strength to carry on
All I desire is some place to lay my head
Joseph why can’t we find a bed?

Don’t worry, Mary, don’t worry, Mary
Don’t worry, Mary
I’ll find somewhere to stay
Don’t worry, Mary, don’t worry, Mary
Don’t worry, Mary
I’ll find somewhere to stay
I’ll find a way

Joseph keep trying we don’t have much time
Why are the people so unkind?
Lord will you help us we call out to you
I have been faithful through and through

Don’t worry, Mary, don’t worry, Mary
Don’t worry, Mary
I’ll find somewhere to stay
Don’t worry, Mary, don’t worry, Mary
Don’t worry, Mary
I’ll find somewhere to stay
I’ll find a way

No room No room
No room No room
I have to find us somewhere soon

No room No room
No room No room
I have to find us somewhere soon

Sir can you help us
My wife is in pain
Do you have somewhere we can remain?
Sir I must beg you
Her time is now due
There must be something you can do!

No room No room
No room No room
I have to find us somewhere soon

No room No room
No room No room
I have to find us somewhere soon

Sir wait a minute
Have pity I pray
Is there a room where we can stay?
Here take this lantern
There’s no room inside
You’ll find the stables warm and dry

Don’t worry, Mary, don’t worry, Mary
Don’t worry, Mary
I've found somewhere to stay
Don’t worry, Mary, don’t worry, Mary
Don’t worry, Mary
I've found somewhere to stay
I've found a way
Somewhere to stay
Somewhere to stay
Track Name: Jesus Gonna Turn Your Life Around
Jesus Gonna Turn Your Life Around

Shepherds do not fear, shepherds do not fear
The Lord your God is here, the Lord your God is here
Heed this news I bring, heed this news I bring
Go and honour him, make your offering

Go and worship the Lord
In a farmyard he lies with a maid
Go and worship the Lord
In a manger he is laid

Jesus gonna turn your life around
Jesus gonna turn things upside down

Here in David’s town, here in David’s town
Better get on down, better get on down
Go and praise the King, go and praise the King
The Lord of everything, what can you offer him?

Go and worship the Lord
In a farmyard he lies just a babe
Go and worship the Lord
In a manger he is laid

Jesus gonna turn your life around
Jesus gonna turn things upside down
Track Name: Lay It Down
Lay It Down

Listen people you’ve heard it said
From Bethlehem comes the living bread
Whose origins are from of old
In ancient times it was foretold
Listen people to what you’ve read

Lay it down O ye sons and daughters
Lay it down all your shame and fear
Lay it down drink the living water
Lay it down because the King is here

The Lord himself has given us a sign
From a virgin’s womb and from David’s line
He has come to make all things well
Our God is with us Immanuel
The Lord himself is now with us entwined

Lay it down O ye sons and daughters
Lay it down all your burdens and fears
Lay it down drink the living water
Lay it down because the King is here

God is with us
The Lord himself

Lay it down O ye sons and daughters
Lay it down all your shame and fear
Lay it down drink the living water
Lay it down because the King is here
Track Name: The King Is Here
The King Is Here

I am the King divine
All that you can see is mine
This talk of ‘Messiah’ is troubling me
I will send out a decree, just watch me

Prophesised in ancient days
They wish to adore him they say
From the House of David a ruler will come
Well he will end his life young, very young

Hallelujah Hallelujah the King is here!
Hallelujah Hallelujah the King is here!

Born in my kingdom a child
Innocent, meek and mild
This seed shall be harvested before it has grown
I shall not be overthrown, let it be known

These people are ungrateful fools
I rebuilt the temple of the Jews
Do they really think they can shake off Roman rule?
I will show them who’s who, kill boys under two!

Hallelujah Hallelujah the King is here!
Hallelujah Hallelujah the King is here!
Track Name: Star Over Bethlehem
Star Over Bethlehem

There’s a star over Bethlehem
A light to proclaim the good news to all men
That God has come to save us

There’s a light for two thousand years shining
In our hearts and it’s all by his designing
For our God has come and saved us

Every night the stars shine bright
We remember the Christmas story
Every night, the stars shine bright
We praise you for your glory

There’s a wall around Bethlehem
And there’s a wall built around the hearts of your children
Thank God you came to save us

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