Interpreted by one of America’s best contemporary singers today, Linda Renfro, and with a little help from her friends, Eric Tagg and Chris Snidow:
1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Traditional English) is one of the oldest, most popular and most misunderstood carols of Christmas. What contemporary Americans understand now is nothing like what the English peasants meant when they first sang this song more than 500 years ago. The key to the misunderstanding lies in the title line. In correct contemporary English, it should read “God make you mighty, gentlemen!” Using this translation, the old carol suddenly makes perfect sense, as does the most common saying of the holidays, Merry Christmas. The earliest known printed edition of it dates to c. 1760. Charles Dickens refers to it A Christmas Carol in1843. Vocals by Linda Renfro.
2. Wexford Carol (Irish: Carúl Loch Garman, Carúl Inis Córthaidh) is one of the oldest extant Christmas carols in the European tradition. It originates from County Wexford in Ireland, dating to the 12th century. It is sometimes known by its first verse “Good people all this Christmas time". Vocals by Linda Renfro.
3. We Three Kings was written in 1857 by Episcopalian
clergyman John Henry Hopkins Jr. (1820-1891). It is based on the narrative of
the journey of the magi in Matthew 2:1-12, and was the first Christmas carol
originating from the United States to achieve widespread popularity . Lead
vocals by Eric Tagg; back-up vocals by Eric and Linda.
4. I Heard the Bells is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem "Christmas Bells" by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was certainly
influenced by two specific tragedies in Longfellow’s life. First of all, two years before writing his poem, Longfellow was deeply shaken when his wife of 18 years was tragically burned in a fire accident at home, and died the following morning. Then in 1863, his oldest son Charles joined the Union army without his father's blessing. Soon afterwards, Charles was severely wounded. It was shortly after this that Longfellow wrote his poem, “Christmas Bells”. Charles would survive, but Longfellow never fully recovered from these two events. Vocals by Linda Renfro.
5. Silent Night. In Oberndorf, Austria on the evening of December 23, 1818, assistant pastor Josef Mohr decided to take the longer way home. He had been working on a Christmas presentation for his small church at a private home, He climbed up a hill overlooking the village. From that hilltop, Mohr looked down on the peaceful snow-covered village. Reveling in majestic silence of the wintry night, he gazed down at the glowing Christmas-card like scene. He remembered a poem he had written a couple of years before. This led shortly to collaboration with church organist, Franz Xavier Gruber, and so was born this lovely Christmas carol. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. Vocals by Linda Renfro.
6. Mary Did You Know is a popular newcomer to Christmas music. It was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene Mark in 1991, and has since gone on to become a modern Christmas classic, being recorded by many artists over the years across multiple genres. Recorded with permission from Harry Fox Agency publishing, and Capitol CMG Publishing. Vocals by Linda Renfro.
7. Carol of the Bells is a popular Christmas carol composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovychin 1914 with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on a Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk”. The original song was associated with the coming New Year, which in pre-Christian Ukraine, was celebrated with the coming of spring in April. The title translates to "the generous one" and tells a tale of a swallow flying into a household to proclaim the bountiful year that the family will have. It is now strongly associated with Christmas because of its new 1936 Christmas lyrics.
8. He’s Here at Last (Come Forth) Lyrics by Eric Tagg. Music by Chris Snidow. Vocals by Eric Tagg. Back-up vocals by Eric and Linda.
9. Angels We Have Heard on High has a long history that may
go back to the apostolic age. It is believed that monks probably sang this song
as they celebrated the birth of Jesus. “Gloria in excelsis Deo” means, in
English, “Glory to God in the highest,” a phrase that played an important part
of worship at church masses dating back to 130 A.D. It may well be as old as the
church itself. It has received many adjustments including its most common
English version that was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, Roman Catholic
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, northeast England. Vocals by Linda Renfro.
Linda Renfro has been singing and recording with various groups and Big Bands throughout her career. She and Chris co-founded Cheshire, which opened in concert for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, It’s a Beautiful Day, and Chuck Berry. Cheshire also performed at many private parties and clubs in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area.
Linda continued singing with Vision, Good News, the Phares Corder Orchestra, Texas Rose, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra (DJO), the Galen Jeter Orchestra, and Ft. Worth Symphony (directed by Curtis Wilson). In showrooms such as the Dallas Playboy Club, Grand Kempski as well as many others, Linda has opened for Lou Rawls, B. J. Thomas, Jack Jones, and The Fifth Dimension. Currently, and for the last 14 years, she has ministered with music the gospel of Jesus Christ with Larry Randall and the Joshua Experience, performing at churches, conventions, private parties and charities. She and her husband David live in Highland Village, Texas, where she enjoys passing on her love of music to her piano and voice students. Linda Renfro Website:
Eric Tagg has been a professional studio and performing musician all his life, and is an accomplished pianist, bassist, and flutist. He has been composing music and writing lyrics for many years, and has several solo CDs released to international critical acclaim.
He has recorded and worked with some of the most well-known musicians of his time, including Don Grusin, David Foster, Greg Mathison, Abraham Laboriel, Tom Scott, Chuck Finley, Bill Champlin and Lee Ritenour. He was “the voice” for many of Mr. Ritenour’s early CDs, and is often known for his hit single with him, Is It You? He has toured in Holland, Japan and the USA.
Some 20 years ago Eric gave his life to the Lord, and has been leading worship all over the world since then. He also continues composing and recording. He currently lives with his wife Marja, in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where they worship at Calvary Chapel.
Beginning in the late1960’s, Chris Snidow played mostly drums in Texas with several different bands including The Menerals, The Dancing Bear, and Cheshire (Linda, Eric and Chris played together in this band in the 1970s). Moving to California, he played with Wheat and The Visions. He then spent 5 years in Europe, including one year in Holland as drummer with Pride of Texas, and one year in Paris as lead guitarist with Tyrone Scott and Truth. He has played with several different bands as the opening act for well-known artists such as Ike and Tina Turner, Sonny and Cher, The Mothers of Invention, Chuck Berry and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
In 1985 he founded Biblical Sound Pictures, and has since released seven solo CDs to critical acclaim in the United States and Europe. Chris and his wife Catherine currently lead Joan of Arc pilgrimages to France. They are active members in Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas.
Digitally recorded, mixed and mastered at Cowrind Studio, Dallas, TX. Most vocals recorded at Crystal Clear Studios. Music composed, arranged and performed by Chris Snidow.
Price: $14.99 S&H included within the USA. For any purchase, make your check out to Chris Snidow, and send with your name, address, and item requested to Chris at:
9320 Biscayne Blvd.