Northern Lights

by Gretchen Peters

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03:57

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released October 21, 2008

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Gretchen Peters Nashville, Tennessee

Gretchen Peters’ new album, 'Blackbirds,' features a who's who of American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave and more. But it's not the guests that make 'Blackbirds' the most poignant and moving album of Peters' storied career; it’s her ability to capture the kind of complex emotional moments we might otherwise try to hide and instead shine a light onto them. ... more

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Track Name: Song For A Winter's Night
The lamp is burnin' low upon my table top
The snow is softly falling
The air is still within the silence of my room
I hear your voice softly calling

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter night with you

The smoke is rising in the shadows overhead
My glass is almost empty
I read again between the lines upon each page
The words of love you sent me

If I could know within my heart
That you were lonely too
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter night with you

The fire is dying now, my lamp is growing dim
The shades of night are liftin'
The morning light steals across my windowpane
Where webs of snow are driftin'

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter night with you
Track Name: Coventry Carol
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

O sisters, too, how may we do
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

Herod the King, in his raging
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight
All children young, to slay

Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
Bye, bye, lully, lullay
Track Name: I Wonder As I Wander
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
Track Name: December Child
What babe is this - who cries no tears
Who brought you forth - who laid you here?
A little child, a tiny thing
How can it be they call you king
A baby in a manger born
So early on a Christmas morn
The angels sang, the heavens smiled
And here you are, December child

December child, so full of grace
So humbly born, so highly praised
They bring you gifts, they follow stars
They say they know who you really are
But you are still your mothers son
They say you are the chosen one
The kings and queens, the rank and file
All know your name, December child

While the shepherds watch they're keeping
We lie sleeping

December child, the world awaits
And soon enough you'll meet your fate
Your mother's arms will soon grow cold
And yearn for her sweet babe to hold
And all the world, in all its need
Will soon be pulling at your sleeve
So give her time, a little while
And go to sleep December child
Track Name: (Charlie's) Angels
Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly through the night
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What great brightness did you see?
What glad tiding did you hear?

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.

See him in a manger laid
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love.
Track Name: Waitin' On Mary
…Joseph walked to Bethlehem
Found no room there at the inn
And knowing not what was to be
He lay beside her patiently
Waitin' on Mary

The shepherds watched, the stars grew bright
The angels said, "It's gonna be alright
Just have some faith, just wait and see
A miracle will come to be
Waitin' on Mary

And after all these centuries
The world still has its refugees
The losers in the human race
But with the most amazing grace
They're waitin' on Mary

Faraway on some dark hill
There are faithful waiting still
Who have no hope but still believe
Maybe tonight is Christmas eve
And they're waitin' on Mary
Track Name: In the Bleak Midwinter
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

Oh what can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, would I bring a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, would I do my part;
yet what I can I give him: give my heart
Track Name: Careful How You Go
On a midnight survey of the town
no place special, just around
the snow fell down like feathers from the sky
and all the good people were in their beds
with the reading lamps on overhead
and the curtains drawn against the night
quiet now
softly now
careful how you go

House to house to garden gate
people waiting on buses that left too late
Too late now, they're wishing they were home
It gets slippery here, so watch your step
we don't want to break the spell just yet
the ice is thin, but maybe it will hold
quiet now
softly now
careful how you go


On a midnight survey of the town
no place special just around
the snow fell down like feathers from the sky
Track Name: Northern Lights
Deep in December, the year has grown old
The days have grown dark and the nights have turned cold
And the hurts that we harbor, the debts that we owe
Are sleeping down under a blanket of snow

It covers the grasses, the bench in the park
The scars in the earth where man's made his mark
And high in the sky there's an unearthly glow
Like a miracle sent to delight us below

And all our cares seem immaterial
Beneath a light so ethereal
As if all our wrongs could be made right
Oh darling, under the Northern Lights

We wound and we're wounded by the tiniest acts
We run from our ghosts and we cover our tracks
And we try to make up for mistakes that we've made
With presents and parties and christmas parades

But I'm tired of the running, I'm taking my leave
And the fire's burning low on this cold Christmas Eve
All that I have is this evening to spend
All that I want is to hold you again

To linger awhile in the mystery
To know the gift that's been given me
Just to lie beside you this Christmas night
Oh darling, under the Northern Lights
Track Name: Christmas Time Is Here
Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all
That children call
Their favorite time of year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times
And ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
Families drawing near
Oh that we could always see
Such spirit through the year

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
Families drawing near
Oh that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Track Name: Silent Night
silent night, holy night
all is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin mother and child
holy infant so tender and mild
sleep in heavenly peace
sleep in heavenly peace

silent night, holy night
shepherds quake at the sight
glories stream from heaven afar
heavenly hosts sing alleluia
Christ the savior is born
Christ the savior is born

silent night, holy night
all is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin mother and child
holy infant so tender and mild
sleep in heavenly peace
sleep in heavenly peace