Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

‘Christmas’ was published in Morija, Lesotho in 1955 as song No. 1 of 29 songs in Hosanna: Lipina tsa Kereke (Hosanna: Church Songs). How and why this collection of songs from different eras in Lesotho’s Christian history by several authors and composers was chosen by the (anonymous) editor, we do not know, but clearly the songs were intended for use in the Church of Basutoland, and they mainly celebrate the Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter. Mohapeloa’s eight songs in Hosanna are longer and musically more complex than most of the other songs in the book, and so they are anthems for church choir rather than hymns for congregational use. Mohapeloa no doubt wrote them for the Lesotho Evangelical Church choir in Morija (Mohapeloa’s home), which he conducted. The robust style of ‘Christmas’ emulates a Handel or Mendelssohn chorus, and it is easy to imagine it as an accompanied chorus in an oratorio. It makes a wonderful companion piece to Moerane’s ‘Go Tell It On The Mountains’.