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Song of the Magi

For this week's post, I'm sharing a cover of "Song of the Magi" by Anaïs Mitchell

who wrote this piece in 2007. She wrote this piece in response to Israel building a wall between their territory and Palestine's. Construction on this wall began in 2002 and continues to this day. As such, this song meshes the familiar story of Jesus' birth and the visiting three magi and what those things would be like in modern times.


This cover was created by Christians living in Bethlehem in 2016. I think the song itself and the visuals provided by this particular cover speak for themselves. You can find the video and the lyrics below.



When we came

We came through the cold

We came bearing gifts of gold

And frankincense and myrrh

And there were trumpets playing

There were angels looking down

On a west bank town

And he so loved the world


[Chorus]

Wore we then our warmest capes

Wore we then our walking shoes

Open wide the city gates

And let us through


[Verse 2]

A child is born

Born in Bethlehem

Born in a cattle pen

A child is born on the killing floor

And still he no crying makes

Still as the air is he

Lying so prayerfully there

Waiting for the war


[Verse 3]

Welcome home, my child

Your home is a checkpoint now

Your home is a border town

Welcome to the brawl

And life ain't fair, my child

Put your hands in the air, my child

Slowly now, single file, now

Up against the wall


[Arabic Verse (Original to the cover)]

A child was born in the land of peace

In a country now surrounded by walls

Its homes are divided and became checkpoints

And its children are born in war and depravation


[Chorus]

Wear we now our warmest coats

Wear we now our walking shoes

Open wide the gates of hope

And let us through


[Verse 4]

When we came

We came through the cold

We came bearing gifts of gold

And frankincense and myrrh

And there were shepherds praying

There were lions laying down

With the lambs in a west bank town

And he so loved the world

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