Episode 113: Eric Nykamp – “Christmas Songs for Quarantine.”


O Come All Ye Faithful
Silent Night
Angels We Have Heard on High
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Sweet Little Jesus Boy
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Jesus the Light of the World
Go Tell It On the Mountain
Joy to the World
Jesus, Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child

Notes from Eric:

This has been a year of loss and longing. Many of us have been unable to worship face-to-face for months, have not been able to embrace people we love, and have needed to stay physically apart from the people we care about the most. Our nation too has been torn apart by fearmongering and racism, and many of us feel separate in spirit from people we used to count as friends. Some of us have been celebrating holidays in solitude, and are looking at marking Christmas alone as well. Some of us are isolated to keep from getting COVID, while others of us presently have COVID, and are quarantined from the public in our homes, rehab centers, and hospital units.

Jesus came into a world very similar to ours. The powerful government of Rome used their military to police the people’s they ruled over, often using terror to instill a sense of fear into those subjugated people. Leprosy and other incurable diseases of the time separated people from one another, making some call out “unclean” so that people would know to keep their distance. We remember Christmas as a time when Jesus came to rescue us from these manifestations of a broken world, among the many other fingerprints sin has left on our world.

Since the beginning of the quarantine period, I have learned how to make the musical backgrounds and interludes for the Antioch Podcast. I’ve enjoyed learning how to make music that is not designed to be the focus of attention, but is created to be in the background to enhance the mood of a conversation. This music is designed in the same spirit of the podcast, to be music for the background of your conversations with God whether it is on a walk or a drive, or with others in your kitchen or perhaps during a meal. I put together this selection of Christmas songs for those marking this holiday time in solitude. In particular, I was thinking of the people I know who are isolated on COVID units in hospitals, rehab centers, or are recuperating sequestered to their homes. But wherever you are, I hope these notes and sounds give you a sense of the presence of God in your life during this season. I hope you have enjoyed it.

All musical arrangements and improvisations by Eric Nykamp