THIS WINTER’S EVE By Sarah Hart Sarah Hart Music
Beginning somewhere around the end of September, I begin receiving Christmas albums for possible review. Most of these are just remixes of the old classic Christmas carols or holiday tunes. It is rare that I receive a Christmas album that is filled with new songs. This Winter’s Eve, by singer/songwriter/speaker Sarah Hart, is one of those rare, beautiful albums.
From the opening notes of the album, the unique beauty of Sarah’s voice is striking. In a time when so many noises assail your ears, Sarah’s vocals – as pristine and delicate and refreshing as snowflakes falling upon your face – encourage the listener to settle down and experience the season, rather than being buffeted about by it.
Written or co-written by Sarah, a well-known and respected songwriter in the CCM industry, the lyrics of the songs on This Winter’s Eve remind that there is more to Christmas than decorations, shopping and elves. The first song, “Prayer For This House,” based upon a poem American poet Louis Untermeyer, is not specific to Christmas, yet its blessing over the listener’s home certainly evokes the setting everyone prays for during the holidays. Peace shall softly walk these rooms/And though the walls are thin/They are strong enough to keep hatred out/And hold sweet love/hold sweet love within. Most of the songs on the album are a reminder that this season is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior and the reason He came to earth as a babe; to redeem us. Some, like “On a Night Like This,” “On a Winter’s Night,” and “All is Well,” are lyrical retellings of certain aspects of the nativity story, yet each offers something more. “On a Night Like This,” co-written with Chris Lockwood, reminds listeners that all was not perfect when Jesus came to earth. This is a troubled day,/ours is a desperate hour/Just as it was when/you walked among us/You knew our deepest need, took on our poverty/Beautiful mercy born to save us. “Peace Be,” co-written with Marc Byrd and Jeremy Bose, is a prayer that the coming of Christ will impact our world. Amid the noise of hatred’s roar/Mute the drums of war/So we can hear ourselves again/Evoking even for one breath/Goodwill to men.
As This Winter’s Eve began with a prayer, it also ends with one. “I Will Not Forget” is a prayer of dedication to carry the message of Christmas into the coming year. “Let the tree be taken down/The snow drift far away/Fade the wreathes from green to brown/And carols dissipate/Let the joyous bells recede/In the noise of New Year’s Eve/Still the song of my dear King will stay/…I will not forget you love/And how you saved us all one night.”
If you plan on purchasing only one Christmas album this year, get This Winter’s Eve.
To learn more about Sarah, visit her website www.sarahhartmusic.com or her artist page at Spirit and Song: www.spiritandsong.com/artists/3453.