What is the Crying at Jordan?

“What is the Crying at Jordan?” is an Advent hymn with text written in the 1950s by Carol Christopher Drake, a member of St. Mark’s Choir, Berkeley, California. Although the text, which is copyrighted by the author and appears by permission in The Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church, cannot be reproduced in its entirety here, it speaks of the longing, introspection, and expectation of a world lost in sin for the Incarnation of the Word of God and the dawn of salvation.

The tune on which this arrangement is based came from a Gaelic collection, Dánta Dé (“Poems of God,” or “Verses About God” — Dublin, 1928). The tune had no name in Dánta Dé, and was later
named for St. Mark’s, Berkeley, when paired with Drake’s text.

A haunting, evocative tune, “What is the Crying at Jordan?” reflects the somber yet hopeful mood of Advent.

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99

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