Story behind the piece:
In the Alleyways song each voice progresses in turn from the unseeing child playing in the dusty alleyways to awareness of the angels singing and the great Christmas event. It was written specially for the Manchester Cathedral Cantata Choir. The mp3 recording was the première, sung by the Manchester Cathedral Cantata Choir under Christopher Stokes. The video incorporates the men’s voice choir version, sung by the composer.
This piece has now also been included in the repertoire of the excellent Altèri Choir of Manchester and their first performance was on October 18th 2008 in St Ann’s Church Manchester.
See the children playing in the dusty alleyways
all the buildings round them give no hint
of the miracle which happened in a tiny stable just close by,
Oh children you do not hear
Oh children you do not know the great and mighty
the full and blessed cure
the baby Jesus is God incarnate
oh hear the angels rise now from the dusty streets and noisy alleyways
come and see the wonder which is come to you
leave your games and join the great celestial choir of angels
We were children playing in the dusty alleyways
We don't see the angels hov'ring overhead
Now we see the angels singing singing praises
We can join the angels singing singing praises
leave your games and join the great celestial choir
Oh Children, Sing!
for choir (SATB with splits)