Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unfinished Search

Here's a request that arrived in my email today from a friend who is looking for a Christmas song for a school program:

Carl... do you have the music for Angel band that starts like "Came an
angel down from heaven to the place where the baby lay...?? I am looking
for it for our school program. Thanks!

You may wonder why this person thinks I may have the music--in addition to my education career, I'm a church music director. I don't recognize the song from the lyrics, so a search is underway.

As I see it, there are two clues from which to proceed: that reference to 'angel band' and the 13 word excerpt from the song.

At this point, my first inclination is to use quotes around the entire phrase, which results in only one return. But it's highly relevant and appears to be a songsheet in .doc form. (I had to view the html version of the document, as it didn't open as a doc.) This result confirms that the title of the song is "Angel Band." And now I have all the lyrics. But I don't see any music, which is what I want.

By the way, it doesn't matter if I used quotes or not. The first result is the same file. Quotes eliminates a lot of clutter, but it also doesn't give me anything else to consider.

Regardless, now I have other clues by scanning the sole result: that there may be a practice CD that goes with the songsheet (the song I want is Track 4) and a url, which truncated ( leads me to the Livingston Parish Children's Choirs in Louisiana. I see the Apprentice Choir listed, as well as a link to music (but not the set I need). I could pick up the phone, call the director and see where I could find the music. If further searching fails, I'll pass this information along to my friend. So far, this search has taken only a couple of minutes.

Searching YouTube for Angel Band quickly leads to the realization that there is a different, more popular song by this title. This is going to complicate the search. I'm looking for video of a kids choir performing. Surely someone has captured this digitally.

If you want to pursue this, what would you do next? Where would you search? Post your ideas!


Dawn said...

Anyone ever figure this out?? I am looking for it too.

Carl Heine said...

I just did a search for

children "angel band"

and found a site where you can listen to a version of the song and download a printable score with the melody and chords for a small fee.

Note: This might not be the same song, as the lyrics don't match.

Carl Heine said...

I also found all the lyrics for what I believe is the song (by searching for "an angel came down from heaven")

I still don't know about the melody for this version.

" Angel Band "
Came an angel down from Heaven,
To the place where the baby lay,
And he said "I cannot sing for you,
But upon my bell I will play,
I'll play.
Upon my bell I will play."
Came another angel from Heaven,
To the place where the baby lay,
And he said "I too, cannot sing for you,
But upon my tambourine I'll play,
I'll play.
Upon my tambourine I'll play."
Came the last angel from heaven,
And he joined the other two,
And he said "I'd sing for the Holy King
But I'd rather play my drums for you,
For you.
I'd rather play my drums for you."
So the angels came together,
Playing melody so grand,
Singing song of joy,
For the Holy Boy,
They formed an angel band.
They formed an angel band.