Come, Children of This Long, Discarded Night

By

Rebecca Reynolds and I wrote this Advent song during one of our Hutchmoot 2013 sessions. It is part of a larger collection of new but old-sounding hymns we’ve collaborated on with Jeff Taylor. We’re scheduled to go back into the studio in mid-December, and we will finish the record in January and February with somewhere around 15 or 16 tracks. Credits: Jeff Taylor, piano, accordion; Ron Block, guitar, lead and harmony vocal; Luke Bulla, violins. Julie Lee, harmony vocals. Available here.

Come Children of this Long Discarded Night

(Music by Ron Block, Moonlight Canyon Publishing, BMI/Words by Rebecca Reynolds, Wynken Owl, BMI)

Come, children of this long, discarded night
Encumbered by the bonds of labor’s strain
What burns against the pitch of heaven’s veil?
To woo each mortal soul from Eden’s pain?

Come, trouble of the slow, forsaken years
Bent low from friendless journey o’er the earth
While hearts of men have worn to sod and stone,
What brightness hearkens like the fires of home?

CHORUS:
Oh, hear the shining thrill of grace resound!
The ancient throng in wonder now declares
That Love is born!
That Love is born!
All glory be to God on high,
All peace, good will toward men in Him is found.

Come, children of each dark and distant land
From stories of a kind and noble king
These winds that stir thy thrumming heart’s desire
Proclaim the hope that this glad even’ brings.

Come, impulse of thy tired, waning joy
Come thirst, and want, and pining, bitter grief
Lift up your eyes, behold what radiance stirs
To remedy each sorrow sprung from earth.

CHORUS:
Oh, hear the shining thrill of grace resound!
The ancient throng in wonder now declares
That Love is born!
That Love is born!
All glory be to God on high,
All peace, good will toward men in Him is found.

All peace, good will toward men in Him is found.

Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he’s not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin’ on audiences around the world, he’s taking care of his donkey named “Trash” and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.


23 Comments

  1. Renee Kelley

    What an incredibly touching new Christmas song! It reaches so sweetly but so deeply into the true meaning of Christmas! Thank you, Ron and Rebecca!

  2. LauraP

    Ancient and brand-new all at once. Nice work, you guys. Thanks for the blessing and the beauty. Looking forward to the rest!

  3. David M.

    Beautiful, Ron. This is one of my favorite vocal performances of yours. It’s a beautiful lyric, and you imbue it with the right measures of bleakness and hope.

  4. Peter B

    Aahhhh, I’m so glad this finally came to us! The track sounds beautiful. Rebecca was right; this is some of your best vocal work ever.

  5. Matt Coppedge

    I am speechless. This is beautiful and profound, and I cannot wait for the new album of “new but old-sounding hymns” coming out this Spring! Saw you and Sierra play last night at Eddie’s Attic and this song (along with the one about being hidden away in the Bosom of Christ) was my favorite. Godspeed, and Merry Christmas.

  6. David Gill

    Once again the passion of your love for Christ is echoed in these wonderful lyrics and accompaniment. This stirred a response deep in my heart and praises only possible through Holy Spirit. Thank you both for being vessels so ready to do the work of Christ in this present world.

  7. Matthew Benefiel

    This burns my heart. It confronts the desperation in my self reliance and instead directs me the only hope I have.

  8. Kirk Bierens

    I was there! I was sitting in that sacred place as words and music were finding each other. I sat in amazement as the two crafters, Ron and Rebecca, worked together and couldn’t help but believe a third had joined them. Thank you for the experience…and now the gift of this finished work. Beautiful.

  9. Rick Stern

    A lovely, lovely song that really captures both the dark feeling of the early Sundays in Advent yet without losing hope for the advent of a time of restoration and redemption. You are certainly one of the most deeply theological composers of the day. I would like to ask if you would be inte3rested in coming to a seminary class I am teaching, “The Gospel according to Bluegrass.” I apologize for using this venue for this, but I am not on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  10. RON S.

    Don’t know if you remember talking with me Ron, it was four years ago in Winfield, Kansas. I had just lost my 16 year old daughter Olivia ten months earlier, two weeks before Christmas. Her cause of death was still undetermined at the time that you and I talked. You listened to me and told me that although you had not experienced the loss of a child, you knew someone who had. You offered me hope.
    I just “accidentally” happened to come across this site today. I can so relate to the “tired and waning joy, and “pining with bitter grief” from a “dark and distant land” in Rebecca’s awesome lyric. I know this pain all too well. And I recently have learned about your childhood Ron. It’s clear to me that you in fact do know something about deep loss…just know that this place in your heart where you allow God to dwell, reaches people, it reaches people like me. I still don’t know what happened to my daughter, and the pain is still there every day, but I know that God loves me, and I still have hope.

  11. Kevin Durkin

    What a wonderful song, Ron. Amazed to find this as we approach our Christmas somewhat exhausted and confused from the year. This week, here in Manchester, your friend Kate Rusby’s Christmas concert opened us to the delight and wonder of the gift of Christmas, through the poetry of carols in their seemingly limitless variations. Now we have a new Advent carol that is timeless upon first hearing. Bless you and Rebecca in your work.

  12. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    Thanks to everyone for all the beautiful comments. Rick, yes, you can email me at RonBlockTwo@aol.com. Ron S, yes I do remember, and I’m glad for our hope. Kevin: I would love to see one of Kate’s Christmas concerts. What a great artist and band!

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