Category Archives: 15hymns

15 Hymns: Do You Hear What I Hear

My friends, I can’t tell you how wonderful this little experiment has been. I love the music, and I love that you all buy into these kinds of ideas. Thank you all for being a little bit of sanity in the midst of the Christmas madness.

The Dailies sent this in last night, to cap off the 15 Hymns run. Have a merry Christmas everyone, and I’ll see you all on the other side.


photo by orange beard

15 Hymns Interlude: A Long December

This goes out to all the music pastors in the world, who spend all of December buried in charts, and orchestrations, and powerpoint, and rehearsals, and who produce “Christmas Miracles” every single year. Here’s to you.

I imagine that this song was probably written on a night much like this one, and ground out in about 20 minutes. I didn’t stop to check the chords, or even to attempt to play them correctly. I suspect that’s how the original went down, too.


piano destroyed
photo by snweb

15 Hymns: Go Tell It

I forget how quickly “everyday” comes around. Today’s “15 Hymns” offering is just a quick piano romp, flipped the MacBook Pro camera toward the keyboard and hit record. I’ve always liked watching the hands of people who play piano. Hopefully you all do too.

Sharolyn, there’s a little something in here toward the end that’s just for you (and no, I’m not talking about the sloppy pinky technique on the top end of the runs). Enjoy.

(NOTE: if any of my students are following along, this is NOT appropriate piano technique. This is me farting around on a piano for 10 minutes. If you’re looking for an example of good piano technique, you check this guy out.)

15 Hymns: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

I have always loved this song, but it never seems to work for congregational singing. So, I built my own congregation, out of cloned replicas of myself. Oh man, that would be the greatest church ever. Wait … never mind. On second thought, that would be the worst church ever.


let all mortal flesh
photo by Automatt

15 Hymns: Divinum Mysterium

(ed: title corrected based on new info from the comments)

From Rod Lewis:

Hi Michael,
I’m Rod Lewis, a lurker at Addison Road, but have commented a time or two. I’ve attached a submission in answer to your 15 hymns call. I’ve really enjoyed what everyone has contributed so far, and realize that this is nothing like any of the rest, and maybe you’re looking only for vocal music. Thought I’d send this anyway, you can listen, post, laugh, delete – whatever suits your fancy (as they say here in the south).

I’m a prof at a small bible college in Columbia, SC. I teach music theory, applied guitar, and contemporary worship. I also side gig as worship leader at a local church. Married with 3 kids…

The piece I’m sending you is a guitar arrangement of “O Magnum Mysterium”.
So… there it is.


Rod, this is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for – music from people who love music. Fantastic playing, by the way. Can I ask where you teach?

divinmu mysterioum

15 Hymns: Hark The Herald Angels Sing

From the Stick Man himself, featuring his own glorious singing in it’s international worldwide debut!

Hark, The Herald Angel’s Sing, a 15 Hymns exclusive. (Until he releases the Christmas record that he originally recorded this for.)

christmas choir

photo by drp

15 Hymns: Labor of Love

Chad once said something that I will co-opt, and bastardize, to suit my purposes; “Every Christmas song worth a damn was either written 300 years ago, or is ‘Labor of Love’ by Andrew Peterson.” I loved this song from the moment I first heard it on a rehearsal demo for Chad’s Christmas musical a few years ago.

Since everyone else involved in this project seems intent on sending in radio-ready masters of incredible arrangements, I decided to play the contrary, and deliver this thing up, warts and all. I tried to stay with the simplicity of the original song, just alone at a piano in a noisy room, recording the song as it went down. If you want to hear the much, much better version, follow the happy itunes link:
Jill Phillips with Andrew Peterson - The Nativity Story: Sacred Songs - Labor of Love

For the rest of you, enjoy.


labor of love
photo by introspectre

15 Hymns: Sweet Little Jesus Boy

So, you knew Aly and Ash were going to get in on this. And you knew it would be something funky and cool

This is “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”, in what will surely become an instant classic. It will also most likely have the distinction of being the only song included in “15 hymns” that is 3 minutes of an F chord. We all about the groove, yo. Incidentally, this is the first time in many moons that Ash & Aly have collaborated. They are still married after the experience. According to Ash.


soul boy
photo by carlf

Also, let me take a second to send out a call to those of your who fly under the radar at Addison Road. Send me your hymns! It doesn’t need to be a production, as long as it’s real. I’d love to hear something from someone new.

15 Hymns: No Eye Had Seen

Christmas has begun! Fill the air with music!

This first installment of the 15 Hymns comes from George Rowe. Our local producer/rock star Stick has been George’s creative partner over the course of several projects, one of which was a Christmas record that they did “in about 20 minutes, total” according to George. He sent me a half-dozen cuts off the record to choose between for the 15 Hymns extravaganza, and this version of “No Eye Had Seen” seemed like the perfect way to kick off the season.


If any of you are in the Maryland area, George is on the road there this week. Go check him out at his website,


15 Hymns Preview: River

Before we start the Christmas Hymns, Zack thought we should give a day for all those who suffer from Season Affective Disorder, which I thought was a phrase he just invented so that he could take sick days off for his Christmas funk, but turns out it was actually invented by a bunch of scientists so that they could take sick days off for their Christmas funk.


Zack’s submission is a perennial Christmas funk favorite (and I don’t mean funk as in James Brown or Tower of Power). Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a slightly drunk Zack performing Joni Mitchell’s “River”.


joni mitchell

15 Hymns in 15 Days

Addison Road Proudly Presents

15 Hymns in 15 days. This is the evolution of Aly’s project from last Christmas, listing lyrics from some of our favorite Christmas Carols. This year, it’s all about the ear candy. I want audio. From December 10th through the 24th, I’m going to post one Christmas Hymn per day. In fine Road House tradition, you will, of course, be doing the actual work.

spin meRecord me some Hymns. Fire up the Protools rig, or Garage Band, or book a week at The Village – I don’t care! Send me an original recording of a Christmas Hymn, one that you just discovered, one that you’ve always loved, one you just wrote. I’ll post them here, along with any detail you’d like me to include. I know some of our regulars have some very cool stuff in their back pocket that they can pull out for this, but I think there are a lot of you out in reader land who should get in on this too. It can be simple, just you sitting at a piano, or it can be an obscenely ornate production. As long as it’s a decent recording, send it.

Email me the audio file to me (mp3 only, please), along with some info on who you are, and what you do, and why you picked this song. Let’s get some content up in here! Who’s in?