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The Path

by Katy Taylor

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    This CD was recorded live in the gorgeous chapel of Holy Cross Monastery, a Benedictine Order in West Park, New York. As it was recorded in a live space, you will hear a few unplanned accompaniments in some of the pieces: the radiator; a train in the background, a cough or two, and the spirits of seekers from years gone by.
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    Mirabilis: Katy Taylor and Amy Fradon

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1.
"The Darkest Midnight" The darkest midnight in December, no snow nor hail nor winter storm Shall hinder us for to remember the babe that on this night was born. With shepherds we are come to see this lovely infant's glorious charms. Born of a maid as the prophets said the God of love in Mary's arms. Have you not heard the sacred story, how man was made those seats to fill Which the fallen angels lost in glory, through their presumption, pride, and will. They thought us mean for to obtain such glorious seats and crowns in heaven. So through a cheat they go Eve to eat the fruit to be avenged on man. Ye blessed angels join our voices, let your gilded wings beat fluttering o'er While every soul set free rejoices and every devil must adore. We'll sing and pray that God always may our friends and family defend. God grant us grace in all our days, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
2.
The Path 01:43
"The Path" That’s what I should like the best, to be a humble bridge or way Leading to the Christmas joy, where longing finds the road to rest If only someone came to greet the holy Mother and her child The very stones that make my path would thrill with joy beneath those feet.
3.
"The Shepherds Sing" The shepherds sing, and shall I silent be? My God, no hymn, no hymn for thee? My soul’s a shepherd, too; a flock it feeds of thoughts, and words, and deeds. The pasture is Thy word: the streams, Thy grace, Enriching all the place. Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers, out-sing the daylight hours. Then we will chide the sun for letting night, take up his place and right. We sing one common Lord; wherefore he should himself the candle hold. I will go searching till I find a sun shall stay, till we have done. A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly as frost-nipped suns look sadly. Then will we sing, and shine all our own day and one another pay. His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine till ev’n His beams and my music shine.
4.
"Sainte Nicholaes" Translation: Saint Nicholas, God’s servant, help us to build a safe dwelling place By your birth, by your death, Saint Nicholas, bring us safely there.
5.
"Puer Natus est Nobis" Translation: A child is born unto, a son is given to us, who will be the supreme sovereign over all. And he shall be called wonderful, counselor and the angels shall sing a new song to God who made this wonder. Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever, Amen.
6.
"Lully, Lullay" Lullay thou little tiny child, By-by lully, lullay Lullay thou little tiny child, By-by lully, lullay Oh, sisters, two, how may we do to persevere this day For this youngling for whom we sing, by-by lully, lullay Herod the king in his raging charged he hath this day His soldiers in their strength and might all children young to slay Then woe is me, poor child, for thee and ever mourn and say At thy parting, nor say nor sing, by-by lully, lullay And when the stars in gather do in their full courses stay Then smile as dreaming, little one, by-by lully, lullay
7.
"Seven Virgins / The Leaves of Life" All under the leaves, and leaves of life I met with virgins seven And one of them was Mary mild, our Lord’s first mother in heaven. Oh what are you seeking, you seven pretty maids, all under the leaves of life We are seeking for no leaves, Thomas, but for a friend of thine Go down, go down into yonder town and sit in the gallery And there you’ll see sweet Jesus Christ, nailed to a big yew tree. So down they went into yonder town as fast as foot could fall And many a bitter and the grievous tear from them virgins’ eyes did fall Oh, peace, Mother, Oh peace, Mother, your weeping does me grieve For I will suffer this, he said, for Adam and for Eve How can I my weeping leave, my sorrows undergo? While I do see my own son die, and sons I have no mor He laid his head on his right shoulder, and death has struck him nigh The Holy Ghost be with your soul, sweet Mother, now I die Oh the rose, the gentle rose, the fennel, it grows so strong Amen, good Lord, your charity, here’s the ending of my song
8.
"Alleluia Virga Mediatrix" Translation from Latin: Alleluia! O branch, mediatrix, your holy vitals vanquished death And your womb illumined all creatures in the beautiful flower Born of the sweetest integrity of your sealed chastity.
9.
"The Cherry Tree Carol" When Joseph was an old man, an old, old man was he, He married Mary, the virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee. Oh, Joseph and Mary went walking, all through an orchard good, And there were berries, and there were cherries, as red as any blood. Oh, then bespoke sweet Mary in a voice so fair and so mild Oh, dearest Joseph, pick me one cherry for I am with child. Oh, then bespoke old Joseph with an answer most unkind, Let him pick berries, and let him pick cherries that brought thee now with child. Oh, then bespoke sweet Jesus, within his mother’s womb, Bow down, bow down, thou tallest tree, that my mother might have some. Then bow-ed down the tallest tree into sweet Mary’s hand And Mary cried, oh, see now Joseph, I have cherries at my command. Oh, then bespoke old Joseph, I have done sweet Mary wrong, Cheer up, cheer up, my dearest Joseph, and do not be cast down. So Mary picked one cherry as red as any blood And Mary and Joseph, they walked on homeward all with her heavy load.
10.
"The Burning Tree" Where Mary lay she was a freebird and she lay down at the burning tree She bore a son of God in flesh and blood to bear the torch for humanity. Now Mary’s son could walk on water could heal the blind and set them free While other sons at most could chop some wood sweet Mary’s son bore our destiny. A mother’s heart would break could she know, her son would die at thirty-three But Mary’s faith so strong that she gave in love, her only son to the burning tree. Now Jesus bore the cross up that hill, while Mary watched from down below And she lay down in the shadow of the burning tree and prayed to God that she might let go. She said, O holy fire I have loved you, I bore your son and set him free I gave him up that all might know their own hearts, I give him back to the burning tree. O give us back to the burning tree, O send us back to the burning tree.
11.
Hodie 02:15
"Hodie " Translation: Today a closed gate is open to us, That gate which the serpent choked in a woman Hence the flower of the Virgin Mary gleams in the dawn
12.
"This is the Truth" This is the truth sent from above, the truth of God, the God of love. Therefore don’t turn me from your door, but hearken al both rich and poor. The first thing that I will relate, that God at first did man create. The next thing which to thee I tell, woman was made with man to dwell. And at this season of the year, our blest Redeemer did appear And here did live, and here did preach, and many thousands he did teach. O seek, O seek of God above, that saving faith that works by love And if God is pleased to grant thee this, thou art sure to have eternal bliss. God grant to all within this place, the saving faith, that special grace Which to God’s people doth belong, and thus I close my Christmas song.
13.
"Christ Child’s Lullaby" My love, my pride my treasure, oh, my wonder new and pleasure, oh My son, my beauty every you, who am I to bear you here? The cause of talk and tale am I, the cause of greatest fame am I The cause of proudest care on high, to have for mine the King of all. And though you are the King of all, they sent you to the manger stall When at your feet they all should fall, and glorify my child the King. There shone a star above three kings, to guide them to the King of Kings. They held you in their humble arms, and knelt before you until dawn. They gave you myrrh, they gave you gold, frankincense and gifts untold. They travelled far these gifts to bring, and kneel before their newborn King. My love, my pride my treasure, oh, my wonder new and pleasure, oh My son, my beauty every you, who am I to bear you here?
14.
Milford 02:52
"Milford" If angels sung a savior's birth, on that auspicious morn, we well may imitate their mirth, now he again is born... While shepherds watched their flocks by night all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down... To you in David’s town this day is born of David’s line, A savior who is Christ the Lord and this shall be the sign... All glory be to God on high and to the earth be peace; Goodwill henceforth from heav’n to men, begin and never cease...
15.
"The Boughs of Evergreen" The boughs of evergreen are laden down with heavy snow. Silence calls in gentle winds to all who care to know. Tonight is born a spirit deep, whose love will warm all things. Tonight in Bethlehem is born, the joy of which we sing. Deep in a barn with sweetened hay sheltered from the wind, And ‘neath the silence of the moon and the stars in all the heavens, With Mary’s toil and Joseph’s watch, a child receives his life, And Spirit said let him be love and heal the times of strife. And as we look upon our lands ‘cross field and wood and stream, And if we soften just a bit and listen to our dreams, We know that on this night of birth that Christ within us dwells, And all the hearts in all the lands shall ring as joyous bells.

about

“We love singing Christmas music—telling the Christmas story of incarnation, Light, and Love in the darkest time of the year always lifts our spirits and prepares us for the New Year. And we are blessed to be able to do this with each other as we are dear friends and soul sisters. We sang these pieces for our community on a blizzarding December 13th night and continued to work into the wee hours of the morning singing through the deep, peaceful silence created by the sacred space of the monastery and by the deepening snow outside. We hope you will be drawn into the warmth, comfort, and mystery that the energy of this night and the power of the music created. And may all your lives be full of the truest blessings of the Christ.”

credits

released February 28, 2021

Thank you to: Holy Cross Monastery, who provided the concert and recording space free of charge. Julie Last for her recording and editing perseverance and good nature, our parents Jenifer and Lynn Taylor and Ramona and Dana Fradon, Holly and Amy, Gordon Cook, and countless others who have supported us on our journeys.

The Artists
Katy Taylor, vocals, shruti box, recorder
Amy Fradon, vocals, guitar
Julie Last, live recording, sound engineering, mixing
Mark Dann, mastering
Katy, Amy, and Julie, producers
Carol Zaloom, cover art
The Turning Mill, graphic design

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Katy Taylor Port Townsend, Washington

Katy performs original, medieval, and Celtic chant and song weaving Celtic ornamentation with haunting, mystical invocations and prayers. Katy has performed and toured with various ensembles over the years. Singing since she was a child, music often rises up within her to become song. Singing is her primary channel to the Divine Mystery. ... more

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