Cries of the Heart bring forth Heaven in a Manger

I can’t believe I’ve wasted this much time reviewing Paul’s masterpiece of Heaven in a Manger! I can’t believe Paul’s put up with me this long without reviewing it either! It’s completely weird though reviewing someone who will in return be able to read this and not someone who’s oblivious to my rambling diatribe!Β  However, here goes:

I’m fiercely preparing some Christmas reviews because, as musicians, if we haven’t heard it by the end of Thanksgiving, there’s a good chance that we’re not playing it this Christmas. I bring you to Cries of the Heart and Paul and Anna’s Heaven in a Manger. Let me preface this by saying, I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas music. GASP! Yes, I know. But I grew up in choir’s and Christmas was HUGE in our High School Choir for doing songs and specials and after beating them down for 4 years they all seem to sound the same and seldom do any of them have guitars!

That being said, I really dig this new tune! At first I didn’t think I would like it! It starts off to me with a slight cringe factor. Nothing against Anna and Paul’s incredible voices! Man, they work together with great chemistry! And something begins to happen as they move from the female lead to the male lead and then together. The song begins to take shape and picks up beautifully! It takes a bit to get to a ‘full band’ stage however that allows you to really lean into the lyrics.
While it’s not your congregational sing along this is a beautiful special song to be sung for any Christmas event! Heaven in a Manger’s painting of the birth of Jesus is truly sweet. For me it’s:

  • Healing in a little hand uncurled
    On the hay that feeds the cattle lays the Bread of Life that feeds the world

Lyrically, each verse tells a story at what the birth means to Mary and Joseph and then to you and me.

Musically, I don’t know how else you would play this, except to have a full fledged string section behind you. That’s the only thing that kills this guitar player, there is alot done by Korg Triton or some other behemoth of a keyboard πŸ™‚ but I don’t know what else you’d do except to use live instrumentation! I can picture hearing this in church, in a Christmas musical, on the radio, live at the climax of a Christmas extravaganza downtown outside somewhere with the orchestra section and 1st Church’s choir backing them up as the exclamation point to the end of Christmas caroling. I think Paul needs a mySpace page to pimp this song out to those who can do something with it! HAHAHA.

Go…NOW…pick it up while you can and show Cries of the Heart some love!!!


7 Responses to “Cries of the Heart bring forth Heaven in a Manger”

  1. November 20, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    I totally agree…with every point…nice work paul…you def. have a gift…oh wait you won a GRAMMY and DOVE AWARDS…i think you know your good…
    so i guess i should really say how not so good we are compared to you. lol

  2. November 21, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Thanks for the kind words. I have to say that I feel very passionately about this song.
    Conner, I’ve tried for years to get it played on the radio. No one will. They need the air time to play “The Christmas Shoes” forty-seven times a day.
    Not that I’m bitter. πŸ˜‰
    Anyway, I got tired of trying, so we decided this year to just give it to people and not wait for radio airplay. So, I appreciate the publicity and I hope your blog pals will come and get it.
    Later –
    Paul J.

  3. 3 Zach Hunter
    November 21, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Pastor,
    I’m a 16 year old abolitionist and author working on my second book called “Generation Change.” I’m looking for a youth group who has done Style Your Soul with Tom’s Shoes to highlight in the book. I see your students have done this. May I send you some questions to include?

    If you want to check out what I’m up to you can go to http://www.youthspecialties.com/zachhunter

    Many thanks!

  4. November 24, 2007 at 11:53 am

    I’m really hoping this isn’t a joke but YES! I just read an article about you and will actually be sharing it with my students this weekend. I suppose this is worth a post as well πŸ™‚

  5. 5 Marco
    November 30, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Hey everyone…

    I’m from Brazil and I need the lyrics from “Heaven in a Manger” and I need to know if you have a playback from this song. I liked to buy!

    Sorry my bad english…
    God bless you


  6. November 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Marco I do not have the lyrics. It looks like Paul’s got it up for sale now on iTunes and such. I’d shoot him an email or contact him for the lyrics.

  7. February 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    All the links I’ve tried are broken. I am looking for the words and music or accompaniment CD for “Heaven In A Manger”. My son and I want to sing it at church at Christmastime 2012. Please tell me where I can get it. I already got the iTunes file of them singing it, but I need words and music so we can sing it. Thanks!

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