Advent songs from the Black Gospel Tradition

As a cross-cultural church, we are always looking for good resources for music from outside the mainstream. When I go to the usual websites, hymnals or whatever it can be difficult to locate unique gospel music resources for Christmas. Here’s a few that I’ve come across that you might enjoy:


The Classics

Go Tell It On The Mountain (we’ve been using the Norman Hutchins Arrangement)

Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child (Mississippi Choir – more changes than we play, but an excellent groove)

Rise Up Shepherd and Follow (We do this a lot more R&Bish, but I’m loving this churchy sound on the clip)

Mary Had A Baby (this clip is brilliant)

Deeper Cuts

Poor Little Jesus (I prefer the Goldgate Quartet’s version of this tune, but I couldn’t find a youtube clip. This version is pretty sweat as well.)

Behold The Star (here’s a Morehouse/Spelman clip for my friend, Darwin)

Contemporary Choir Tunes

Rejoice – Richard Smallwood (Smallwood is the king of cool changes, polyphony, and scripture-based text)

Emmanuel – Norman Hutchins (This is a song inviting adoration – simple and effective)

O Come – Israel Houghton (this is basically a “Thriller” groove for Advent)

Now Behold The Lamb – Kirk Franklin (Deeply meaningful song)

Great Joy – Broadway Inspirational Voices (We’re singing the arrangement of Hark The Herald that is on this recording, but the whole octavo is nice)

O Holy Night – Richard Smallwood (from the same recording as “Rejoice”)

Originals written by James Ward

These songs come from my dad’s choir at New City Fellowship in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You can purchase music for them at his website

Bring Your Praise To The King

Christ Is Born

Angel Carol

 Joyful News



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