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New Music: Little Sheep

In 2013 our church commissioned several musicians to write songs for the annual Christmas concert. At the time I felt drawn to write about shepherds, because my own son, Shepard, was reaching an age where he might begin to understand this strange story, and I wanted to approach the nativity in a way that might catch his interest. The more time I spent contemplating the pastoral scene of these random witnesses to the annunciation, the more I began to think about David, moving from the same mistrusted, marginalized occupation into the role of his nation’s most revered king.

But what I find so compelling about Christmas is that it tells the reverse of David’s Cinderella story. While we spend much of our lives fighting obscurity, humiliation, and ultimately, death, chasing our American dreams, Advent celebrates the opposite: a movement from royalty to rags. The highest king, for love’s pursuit, dons the cosmic poverty and sheep-like insignificance we so futilely spend lifetimes fleeing. In hindsight, the birth of Christ completes David’s 23rd Psalm with a truth-ringing twist. To keep his sheep, this shepherd would go so far as to become one of them.

Though we recorded “Little Sheep” in the heat of summer and there probably needs to be more sleigh bells for this to be considered a true Christmas track, I am putting it out for free on noisetrade for the holidays. Ben Shive pulled together a dream team band to help flesh it out (Jillian Edwards, Stuart Duncan, Gabe Scott, and himself), and I am so excited to share it with you all.

Also, Jesse Rademacher, an animation professor at Southern Adventist University, is creating a simple, animated lyric video for this as well. Here is a peek at Jesse putting together the opening scene, which we also used to design the album art.

We are hoping to be able to share the video with you before the end of the Christmas season. For now, you can add “Little Sheep” to your Christmas mixes. Enjoy!

When I hear the wolves in the wilderness and my heart begins to leap I see my shepherd guarding the gate and I go back to sleep

For the Lord is my shepherd He’ll do anything for me Lo! My shepherd became a little sheep

I don’t like to be a follower I love to find my way but the animal inside of me takes me far astray

I get lost and trapped and tangled I cry out for my needs he finds a way to bring me back no matter how he bleeds

For the Lord is my shepherd and he was coming after me When Lo! My shepherd became a little sheep

Glory hallelujah in the highest For he stooped right down to the very lowest

When my fate was right before me, the slaughter and the flames, he came to speak my language he came to take my place Now I shall not want for anything for my god became a beast to prepare a table to prepare a table to prepare a table and to become the feast.

For the Lord is my shepherd and behold this mystery When Lo! My shepherd became a little sheep

For the Lord is my shepherd I will follow where he leads When Lo! My shepherd became a little sheep

For the Lord is my shepherd I will follow where he leads When Lo! My shepherd became a little sheep


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