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In Those Days

In Those Days may be a Christmas album, but if so, it’s one like you’ve never heard before. Musical storyteller Jamie Soles puts himself in Joseph’s shoes, in Mary’s ponderings, in council with the wise men, and in John the Baptiser’s pool, along with taking several bird’s eye views of the Incarnation story. The result is a personal yet catholic take on the history of God entering fully into human history and experience.

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In Those Days

(Lk 2:1–3)
© Jamie Soles Dec 19 2013

Sample

In those days… while the King of kings made final preparations
When the Breath of Heaven blew among the nations in ways unseen
In those days…

In the shaking of the heavens and the earth
When the Father gave the answer to the curse
When the one would come upon whom all the world would turn
In those days…
In those days…

In those days… the Desire of all the nations at the door
The Messiah all the prophets clamoured for
Who would come and every land to God restore
In those days…

In those days… by a Spirit he had never known before
The pinnacle of earthly power roared…
This man of whom the people said was Lord
In those days

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
That all the world should be registered in their own home town
In those days

Baby John

(Lk 1:41)
© Jamie Soles Dec 6 2015

Sample

That was quite a leap, baby John, baby John,
Joy too big to keep to yourself
Jesus barely formed,
But you were well-informed by the Spirit;
That was quite a leap, baby John!

That was quite a leap, baby John, baby John,
Joy too big to keep to yourself
He will break the curse,
But you have been the first to see this;
That was quite a leap, baby John!

That was quite a leap, baby John, baby John,
Joy too big to keep to yourself
Jesus barely formed,
But you were well-informed by the Spirit;
That was quite a leap, baby John!

Still Awake in Nazareth

(Mt 1:18–25)
© Jamie Soles Apr 13 2007

Sample

In the stories I’ve learned of king Solomon, David’s son,
When he was asleep, how You showed up in a dream
And You asked him what he wanted

And wisdom was the thing he really needed;
You gave it liberally
Son of David I am, and I’m wondering…

My lovely bride-to-be, my sweet Mary,
She’s carrying a child, not from me, not from me
I do not want her to be put to shame
And I do not want to damage my good name
But I’d like to hear from You just the same

Can a virgin conceive and bear a son?
If God is with us, what could not be done?
Are Your common ways Your only ones?
Oh please… guard my Mary…

Can a virgin conceive and bear a son?
If God is with us, what could not be done?
Are Your common ways Your only ones?
Oh please… guard my Mary…

Now I lay me down to sleep…

I Dreamed An Angel

(Mt 1:20)
© Jamie Soles Dec 11 2013

Sample

I will build you a porch, a kitchen cabinet,
I can make your roofline straight
Here in Nazareth town with my plumb line and hammer I wait

I have found here the girl of my dreams
Pretty Mary will one day be my queen
She’d been three months away, looking out for a miracle son

Once he was born she returned
and I learned He was not the only one
When she came and she sang me her song of what Yahweh had done
I was undone…

In the night I dreamed an angel
In the night I dreamed an angel

In the morning I woke and found Mary, and made her my wife
And the warning I’d frightened myself with was gone, I was right
For this lady I’m growing to love is carrying light; God is with us

So how does one prepare for the birth of a miracle son?
We are watching and waiting and working and praying
“Lord Your will be done.”

And being ready for anything; who knows what God will have done?
In the night I dreamed an angel
In the night I dreamed an angel
In the night I dreamed an angel
In the night

Son

(Lk 2:1–20)
© Jamie Soles Nov 28 1996

Sample

Joseph, Mary, nine months, carried
Census, senseless, we must go
Travel, painful, comfort, hopeful
No room, what now?
One place more

Barnyard, pungent, cattle, manger
What a time to be a stranger
Dark night, starlight, shepherds, big fright
Angels! Bright light! Good news tonight!

Master, Savior, Promised Deliverer
Humbled, veiled, God Most High
Redemption, salvation, adoption, new creation
Propitiation, God’s own Son

Songs will always ring
From those who've left their wandering
And found rest, true rest
God’s own Son

Unto You

(Mic 5; Ps 72)
© Jamie Soles Dec 28 2013

Sample

From the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
From before the heav’ns and earth were made
From the overflow of Tri-une love a bride for Jesus they did make
From infancy she formed and grew, she wandered far and sorrow knew
At last He came, her lover true… Jesus Christ is given unto you

For the mournful cries His people raised,
for the muted call of ancient dust
From the world’s beginning until now,
these promises so few still trust
To a world of slaves and living dead,
a weary people sleeping through
You shepherds, rise, and lift your head;
Jesus Christ is given unto you

In the long-lived town of Bethlehem,
said the prophet centuries before
A ruler would from there arise
whose rule would stretch from shore to shore
His kingdom’s reign would know no end,
His righteousness and justice true
And while the sun endures, defends…
Jesus Christ is given unto you

Now the time is full, He has appeared,
and the cause of His poor people takes
From oppression He redeems your life,
Your blood, His blood He gives in place
Like showers that water all the earth,
like rain on grass, like morning dew
His peace abounds, long as the moon…
Jesus Christ is given unto you
Jesus Christ is given unto you

I Gotta Tell Ya, Baby

(Lk 1:26–38)
© Jamie Soles Nov 27 2015
Lead female vocal: Jewel Budd

Sample

Jesus, I’ve heard about you;
The angel told me when he gave your name
He said you would be great, and I believe it,
Baby Jesus, I already see this.

But then he said more,
The angel said more than this…

He said you will be called the Son of the Most High,
And the Lord God will give you the throne of David.
He said that you would reign forever;
He said your kingdom would have no end…

Baby Jesus, sweet little Jesus,
You are so… beautiful!

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence


Trad. French Carol, 17th century, Public Domain

Sample

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth He stood,
Lord of Lords, in human vesture,
in the body and the blood,
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heav’nly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
from the realms of endless day,
That the pow’rs of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six-winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
as with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Lord Most High!

Pondering

(Lk 2:19)
© Jamie Soles Jan 23 2014
Lead female vocal: Jewel Budd

Sample

Cousin Elizabeth holding her baby in her arms…
I’m pondering
How Zechariah couldn’t say a thing until their John was born…
still wondering…
And how I saw the angel; clear light of day, still,
“Do not be afraid, for you’re the chosen maiden”…
Pondering…

Caesar’s decree has come, Nazareth time is done
We’re wandering, I’m pondering
How Joseph is the heir to David’s throne, and Bethlehem’s the town of kings…
I’m wondering…
And when the inn was full and we were shown the stable
I was not afraid for the Lord had made me able…
Pondering…

How many angels have come into this tale so odd?
And I wonder… how many are the hosts of God?

David’s a shepherd king; hear what the shepherds bring
I’m pondering and wondering
For unto you is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord
And joy has come to everything
Then the skies were opened, glorious words were spoken
Multitudes of angels praising God for Jesus…
I’m pondering… pondering….

Jesus is Here!

(Lk 1–2)
© Jamie Soles Sep 19 2001

Sample

She was a prophetess, most of her years gone away
Now she was serving with fastings and prayers night and day
Into the Temple old Anna, she came,
and saw there a child, Jesus by name
And knew that her fastings and prayers had not been in vain.
And she told it to all who would hear,
to all those who wait for redemption
Jesus is here!

Being a daughter of Aaron could not ease the shame
Barrenness held her and cast a reproach on her name
Then came the angel, to Elizabeth’s joy,
a visit from God and a new baby boy
A visit from Mary, who carried her Lord to her door
She cried “Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus is here”
Prophets, priests, and kings extend their welcoming
Proclaiming to all who will hear, “Have no fear, Jesus is here!”

Time lay the promise to David in gathering dust
Her princes were carpenters; where is the heir we can trust?
But faith still remained in the heart of this line
And Mary believed it when God gave the sign
“Behold the maidservant of God, do as You would!”

And her song overflows with rejoicing
God in His mercy came near, Jesus is here!
Prophets, priests, and kings extend their welcoming
Proclaiming to all who will hear, “Have no fear!”
Prophets, priests, and kings extend their welcoming
Proclaiming to all who will hear, “Have no fear, Jesus is here!”

Word to the Wise

(Mt 2:1–12)
© Jamie Soles Nov 23 2014

Sample

Are you a Magi from the east?
Are you a scribe or a chief priest?
Do you desire these delicacies?
Are you hungry? Have you been deceived?
Be careful what you say at Herod’s table today
Should he seem a bit concerned about
the rumors he has heard about Messiah…
will you tell him what the prophets say…

And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the rulers of Judah,
For from you shall come a ruler
Who will shepherd my people Israel, My people Israel…

Should he affirm the work you do,
When you come to worship, he says “Me too!”
Know in your heart he’s playing you,
he’s deceiving, he is not with you.
Go home a different way if you wish to miss his rage;
It will burn a cursed fire
If you thwart his funeral pyre for Messiah…
And woe to Bethlehem that day!

We Three Kings

(Mt 2:1–12)
Trad. Public Domain

Sample

We three kings of Orient are bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.
Ohhh--ohhh… Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain; gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign.
Ohhh--ohhh… Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, all men raising, worship Him, God Most High.
Ohhh--ohhh… Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone cold tomb.
Ohhh--ohhh… Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Glorious now behold Him arise; King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia, peals through the earth and skies.
Ohhh--ohhh… Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

Time to Run

(Mt 2:13–15)
© Jamie Soles Jan 6 2014

Sample

Mary, wake up, the night is dark and deep
That angel came again, and I dare not return to sleep
He said to take this child, and his mother too, with me.
It’s time to run.

Mary, wake up; take only what we need
To Egypt we are bound, by promises until we’re freed
So bind me up with Jesus, what we need right now is speed…
We’ve got to run

Bring those gifts the wise men gave to Jesus just the other day
And think about their trip, by moon and starlight all the way…
Like ours today

Herod will come, with murder in his mind
He’s heard about our Jesus, this Son that he must never find
So let us take our leave while his dragon eyes are blind
Let’s make a run

Egypt before us, Pharaoh behind us, see what has been done
To fulfil what God has spoken; “Out of Egypt I called My Son”
Out of Egypt I called My Son…

Mary wake up; it’s time to run
Mary wake up; it’s time to run
Mary wake up; it’s time to run

Of the Father’s Love Begotten


Public Domain

Sample

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that ha – ve been, and that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore!

At His word the worlds were fram-ed; He commanded, it was done.
Heav’n and earth and depth of ocean in their three-fold order one;
All that grows beneath the shin – ing of the moon and burning sun
Evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam’s children doomed by law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and per – ish in the dreadful gulf below,
Evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever bless-ed, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bore the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer, first revealed His sacred face,
Evermore and evermore!

This is He whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long-expec – ted; let creation praise its Lord,
Evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heav’n, adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Pow’rs, dominions bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be si – lent, every voice in concert sing,
Evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be;
Honor, glory, and domin – ion, and eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore!

Uncontainable

(Lk 1:44; 3:1–18)
© Jamie Soles Nov 26 2015

Sample

Soakin’ ’em down, settin’ ’em straight by the Word of the Lord
Thundering loud and gaining a crowd by the Jordan
Some people think I’m a hard man
And the Pharisees sure believe so… but what do they know?
I was born to a righteous and godly old pair
By the Word of the Lord
And right from the womb I’ve been singing this tune uncontainable
I’ve been touched by the finger of God once before
I believe I will be again soon… I’m crankin’ my tune

For salvation from God is at hand; I will welcome that wonderful man
And if bringing Him forth needs my services as a midwife…
Well… He’s had me leaping for joy all my life

For salvation from God is at hand; I will welcome that wonderful man
And if bringing Him forth needs my services as a midwife…
Well… He’s had me leaping for joy all my life
He’s had me leaping for joy all my life

Soakin’ ’em down, settin’ ’em straight by the Word of the Lord

Thanks To...

  • The Lord Jesus for the awesome stories
  • My love Valerie, who has been making my life so much better for upwards of thirty years now. Val sang on a lot of this album.
  • Daughter Jewel Budd, whose excellent Mary impression in these songs makes me happy.
  • Daughter Eden Soles for some great harmonies and encouragements.
  • Son Jonathan Soles for your excellent voice so willingly used for your Dad’s projects.
  • Chris McIntyre was my studio guy, replete with great skills at fills, and good company, too.
  • Craig Learmont did the piano on three tracks. I am honored that this man is putting his mark on, I think, his 13th of my albums.
  • Katie Morin played the accordion for me on “Jesus Is Here”.

Jamie Says:

It is my pleasure to bring you this collection of songs about the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have spent the vast majority of my career as a singer/songwriter producing songs opening up the older Scriptures. Jesus said of those Scriptures that they all talk about him, and there is indeed a lot of talking going on in the long set-up to the songs on this album. But here I am at last, singing the stories around the Incarnation, when Jesus came into the world.

I am tempted to think of this as a Christmas album, but I am hopeful it will not be treated as such, taken out at the appropriate season and given a run around the stables before it goes back into the barn for another year. These stories are not designed to work that way. The fact that God Almighty came into the world at a particular season, an astonishing thing, is to be considered all year round. It is deep enough to keep our attention all the time.

I have tried to put myself in Joseph’s shoes, in Mary’s ponderings, in council with the wise guys, and in John the Baptiser’s pool, with several bird’s eye views of the whole situation. The story of Jesus’ birth is inextricably connected with the things that led up to it, and with the things which followed, and I have thus started this album, after a brief overview, with John in the womb, and ended with John in the Jordan. Jesus came into the world to live, suffer, and die in the place of his people, and Bethlehem was just his starting point here on earth.

He has much yet to do, and songwriters who are captivated by him have a lot of material that should be turned into songs for the world to sing, that take Jesus into the world with hooks and earworms. I hope yet to participate more in this, but the rest of you, get busy!

In Those Days album cover

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