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Pip's carol - written by Norman Painting (Phil)

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 19:14 PM, Sunday, 28 November 2010

Norman Painting (Phil Archer)

So at today's church service, Pip managed to perform Waiting for a Wonder with aplomb, surprising and delighting Jill into the bargain.

But this was one of those moments when The Archers' fiction and real life were intertwined, because "Phil's favourite carol" was in reality a composition by Norman Painting, who played Phil since the very first Archers episode in 1951 to his death last year.

The carol combined Norman's talents as a writer and musician. He wrote nearly 1200 episodes of The Archers under his pen name Bruno Milna, not to mention numerous plays and several books.

And for many years, when "Phil" played the organ in church, or the piano for village productions, it was actually Norman at the keyboard.

Here are the full lyrics:

Waiting for a Wonder
An Advent Carol
by Norman Painting

Advent finds all Christians waiting
Though two thousand years have flown,
Waiting till on Christmas morning
Jesus claims his manger throne.
Watching, waiting for a wonder,
As the days and years have passed,
Till the baby finds the manger
And His birthday comes at last.

As the midnight hour grows nearer
Waiting Christians hold their breath:
"Will He come again, our Saviour,
Freeing us from fear of death?"
Not with trumpet, drum or canon
Will this king assume his reign,
But at midnight's starry silence
God made man will smile again.

Waiting, watching, watching, waiting
Advent gently leads us on
To that moment in the stable
When God sends His only Son.
Fashioned as a human baby
God made man will croon and cry,
Marvelling at the joy and mystery,
With a human baby's eye.

In the warming breath of oxen,
And the donkey's patient gaze,
Will the King of all Creation
Hear, wide-eyed, Creation's praise?
Peace will crown this Advent vigil
In a happy holy way;
Gifts and greetings, praise and honour
Lift our hearts on Christmas Day.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer

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