Sweeter Still

“Sweeter Still: A Holiday Carol” by Eric William Barnum (b. 1979) (Notes by Thomas E. Lerew)

Barnum’s 2007, “Sweeter Still: A Holiday Carol” exhibits his mature mastery over the tools of the musical trade as well as a text from his own hand. A truly modern American carol, “Sweeter Still: A Holiday Carol” is illuminated by a nostalgic melody that pilots us over and around the outdoor aura that surrounds softly falling snow, gently blowing wind, brightly shining lights, and ringing Christmas bells. The carol then hones in on the indoor spectacle of children silently dreaming, and being awakened by what they think could be Saint Nick’s footsteps on the housetop: “They rush down the stairs hoping to see the bright smile of Santa before he disappears.” But, for Barnum and for us, what is even sweeter is the singing of a carol, the glow from a fire, and the family gathered together around the Christmas tree. What joy! What “sweet joy it brings to me.”