The March of the Three Kings (SATB) : Sheet Music
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Words by M Ryan Taylor (after La Marche des Rois Mages)
Arranged by M Ryan Taylor
The March of the Three Kings (or La Marche des Rois Mages) is a wonderful traditional tune that has been popular with composers for a long time. Several famous pieces incorporate the 13th century tune. Why hasnt it become a Christmas singing tradition in English speaking countries? Largely, I think, because there hasnt been a great, singable translation of the original French words. That is one reason why I first decided to tackle my own translation, which really turned into an original lyrical text back in 2004. I have subtitled this song a Christmas fantasy because the events described almost certainly did not happen the way they do in this song, but its great fun!
I used this translation in my childrens Christmas songbook, O Sing a Song of Bethlehem, and then again when I arranged the piece for The Utah Premiere Brass and Timpanogos Chorale (performed at their Christmas concert in 2005).
This version of The March of the Three Kings is sung acappella in an ABA form. This could be sung by a seasoned group of carolers or an acappella choir (who would shun the thought of singing all three verses the same each time). It is offered in e and g minor, both keys in one file.
I hope you enjoy one of my all-time favorite carols. Ex amore victoria!
The March of the Three Kings
by M Ryan Taylor
Copyright © 2004 M Ryan Taylor
based loosely on La Marche des Rois Mages
sung to the traditional tune
Dawn breaks forth, arising in the east.
A mighty host of heros marches hither.
Dawn breaks forth, they come from out the east,
their armor glinting with the rising sun.
A page boys leads with his trumpet bold,
he sounds a note and my heart is filled with wonder.
What brings this fierce host to Bethlehem?
We seek the Savior of the race of men!
Three great kings have led us by that star
you see it brightly though the sun has risen!
Three great kings have led us by that star,
come join our ranks and see this holy child!
The host moves on bearing chests of gold.
I see the kings with a body guard of paladins.
My heart cries out, You must go with them,
and find the Savior of the race of men!
Street by street we pass each rich abode
and each new door holds hope and expectation.
Street by street and looking to the star
we come at last to where its light shines down.
The Son of God lays upon the hay.
The Son of God laid within a lowly stable.
Three kings bow low, here in Bethlehem,
before the Savior of the race of men!
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