Once In Royal David's City

by John Kyle

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I don't remember hearing this song as a child.

The first time I noticed it was in 1991, the year my first daughter was born. My wife and I had been given the Cheiftans' wonderful 1991 Christmas album The Bells Of Dublin. There it's sung as part of a medley by The Renaissance Singers, part of the tapestry of varied music on this merry, roving album.

When I first heard the Kings Cross Cambrige choir version it became my favorite: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMGMV-fujUY

I can't explain why. It's just beautiful.

When I decided to try a Christmas song for this month's creation, I knew it had to be this one. I hope you enjoy my rendition!


Performed and produced bu John Kyle. The words by Cecil Francis Alexander come from a set of 'Hymns for Little Children' (1824). English organist Henry John Gauntlett set it to music in 1949.


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John Kyle Portland, Maine

I make music because it’s the deepest connection I know how to make with people. It’s a river that flows through all of us.

I make music to tell people it’s OK – you're not alone. Be who you really are, even if – especially if – that’s not who everyone else wants you to be.

I make music to save people, because music is what saved me.
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