February 6, 2022- #4821 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at

This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while live broadcasts of the Choir and Orchestra are briefly paused. It contains a new Spoken Word delivered by Lloyd Newell.


Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Narrator: Lloyd Newell

“Glory to God on High”
Music: Felice de Giardini
Lyrics: James Allen
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Simple Gifts”
Music and Lyrics: Shaker song
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Prelude on ‘Middlebury’” organ solo
Music: Dale Wood

“Consider the Lilies”1
Music and Lyrics: Roger Hoffman
Arrangement: A. Laurence Lyon

“Now Thank We All Our God”
Music: Johann Crüger
Lyrics: Martin Rinkhart
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Pilgrim Song”2
Music and Lyrics: American folk song
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah”
Music: John Hughes
Lyrics: William Williams
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Consider the Lilies.
  2. On the CD Glory! Music of Rejoicing.

The Spoken Word

Timeless Tales

Here at Copenhagen’s City Hall Square, on one of the city’s busiest streets, stands an impressive bronze statue. The street is known as H. C. Andersen’s Boulevard, and the statue honors one of Denmark’s favorite sons: a national treasure, a storyteller beloved around the world.

Hans Christian Andersen was born in 1805 in Odense, Denmark, about a two-hour drive west of here. The only child of a poor shoemaker and a laundress, Hans rose from poverty to the top of European society through talent and tenacity. He wrote poetry, novels, essays, short stories, and—his most enduring contribution to world literature—fairy tales.

Andersen said of these tales: “Every character is taken from life; every one of them; not one of them is invented. I know and have known them all.”1 Consider just a few of his fairy tales that give us glimpses into deeper things: “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and, of course, “The Little Mermaid.” We know these characters too, because there’s a little of each of them in all of us. Like the duckling, we know what it’s like to not fit in. Like the princess, we’ve all seen that something small can make a big difference. We’ve all been thankful for people like the boy at the emperor’s parade—brave souls who declare what they see, or don’t see, even when no one else will. And who hasn’t, like the mermaid, faced wondrous opportunities—tied to difficult choices? These tales live on, 150 years after Andersen’s death, because they aren’t just about ducks and mermaids. They tell us something about ourselves.

Hans Christian Andersen’s own life was anything but a fairy tale and included plenty of heartache and trouble. But he affirmed:

“It seems to me that life itself is a wonderful, poetic tale. I feel that an invisible and loving hand directs the whole of it; that it was not blind chance which helped me on my way, but that an invisible and fatherly heart has beat for me!”2

“The history of my life will say to the world what it says to me—There is a loving God, who directs all things for the best.”3

That is not a fairy tale. It is a timeless truth for us all.

  1. In Jackie Wullschlager, Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller (2002), 3.
  2. In Fredrik Böök, Hans Christian Andersen: A Biography (1962), 4.
  3. The True Story of My Life (1843), 1-2