Get Loopy For Christmas

I really appreciate seeing creative and talented musicians. I’d like to share this short video review of a looping pedal by Line 6 … which the highlight (skip to 2:15) is seeing the guy do an interesting rendition of O Come O Come Emmanuel. Imagine beat-box rhythm, guitar, and vocals … all done by one guy. The harmonies at the end of the video are really nice as well.

Since you’re now hooked on O Come O Come Emmanuel, stop by our Christmas Page to get the chord charts you need.

Big Daddy Weave
Annie Moses Band

Also, you have 2 more days to pick up the free Christmas MP3s before Amazon ends their promotion:

Since you’re enjoying new versions of O Come, O Come Emmanuel,
why not chord them out and send it in?
We’ll give you a free month!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht

Here’s another quick history lesson on the song, Silent Night.

Silent Night

180 years ago the carol “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Fr. Joseph Mohr, and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr’s guitar. On each of the six verses, the choir repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony.

On that Christmas Eve, a song was born that would wing its way into the hearts of people throughout the world. Now translated into hundreds of languages, it is sung by untold millions every December from small chapels in the Andes to great cathedrals in Antwerp and Rome.

The German words for the original six stanzas of the carol we know as “Silent Night” were written by Joseph Mohr in 1816, when he was a young priest assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, Austria. His grandfather lived nearby, and it is easy to imagine that he could have come up with the words while walking thorough the countryside on a visit to his elderly relative. The fact is, we have no idea if any particular event inspired Joseph Mohr to pen his poetic version of the birth of the Christchild. The world is fortunate, however, that he didn’t leave it behind when he was transferred to Oberndorf the following year (1817).

On December 24, 1818 Joseph Mohr journeyed to the home of musician-schoolteacher Franz Gruber who lived in an apartment over the schoolhouse in nearby Arnsdorf. He showed his friend the poem and asked him to add a melody and guitar accompaniment so that it could be sung at Midnight Mass. His reason for wanting the new carol is unknown. Some speculate that the organ would not work; others feel that the assistant pastor, who dearly loved guitar music, merely wanted a new carol for Christmas.

adapted from

You can find Silent Night along with other Christmas carols in the RWTC Christmas page.

You can also have a free MP3 of this song or 4 free MP3s:

RWTC mobile?

On the go? Need chords? Of course, there’s no computer nearby … what is one to do?

Well, now you can simply pull up Rockin With The Cross on your cell!

We’re happy to introduce to you the BETA version of RWTC mobile. We cut the fat and hopefully gave you exactly what you need when you’re on the go.

Great, now we need 2 things from you:

  1. Go try it out
  2. We need feedback.

What do you like? What needs work? What’s missing? Do you have ideas … fantastic … we want to hear them.

You can give us feedback by commenting on this blog entry or join our RWTC on Facebook discussion.

Brandon Heath - The Night Before Christmas

FREE Christmas MP3
Brandon Heath – The Night Before Christmas

As White As The Snow

Introducing Jonathan Lee … If you haven’t heard about Jonathan Lee, then its time you meet him.  Jonathan Lee is a new artist on 1CN Records. His debut album, “Let Them Hear” is available digitally in places like iTunes, Amazon and through Jonathan’s website (

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s fun to learn new songs.  And its even more fun to learn that song from the actual artist!

Go vote for Jonathan Lee as the “Breakout Artist” on Worship Leader Magazine.

You can find the chords to “As White As The Snow” on RWTC.

What Child Is This?

Song history lesson #2 –

Title: “What Child Is This,” also known as “Greensleeves.”

Author: The words of this song was written by William Chatterton Dix (1837 – 1898), a hymn writer who also wrote carols. The three verses were actually taken from Dix’ poem “The Manger Throne” and harmonized with the famous melody known as “Greensleeves.” The said melody was a traditional English melody that was popularly used in many texts during the 14th century.

Interesting Fact: The carol “What Child Is This?” was first published on Christmas Carols New and Old around 1867 and edited by Bramley/Stainer.

“What Child Is This?” is a popular Christmas carol that was written in 1865. At the age of twenty-nine, writer William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression.[citation needed] Yet out of his near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including “What Child is This?”. It was later set to the traditional English tune “Greensleeves”. The song has been covered by multiple artists.

You can also find the chord chart for this song on our Christmas Page.

Anyone interested in a free MP3 of “What Child Is This” by Barlowgirl?

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

It’s that time of year once again.  And everyone is pulling out the old carols and favorite Christmas songs.  Have you ever wondered how some of these songs came about?  I do.  So I went looking …

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” is a poem and Christmas carol written byEdmund Sears. The lyrics first appeared on December 29, 1849 in the Christian Register in Boston.

Sears is said to have written these words at the request of his friend, W. P. Lunt, a minister in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1850 Richard Storrs Willis wrote the melody called “Carol”. “Carol” is the most widely-known tune to the song in the USA.  In the UK the tune called “Noel”, which was adapted from an English melody in 1874 by Arthur Sullivan, is the usual accompaniment.

Author: Written by Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810-1876) who was also the pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts.   Richard Storrs Willis, an American composer/musician, created the melody for “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”.

Interesting Fact: Richard Storrs Willis is said to have been a student of Felix Mendelssohn.

If you are looking for some Christmas chords or tabs, be sure to peruse our Christmas song page.  We have your favorites.  We’re also hoping you’ll send in new versions redone by your favorite artists … like “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by MercyMe.

Get the free MP3 of MercyMe’s “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

Suspended Chords

After the great response to the Chord Finder beta, we began working to implement this feature and make sure that the most common chords were included in the list. And after further review it appears that the current list contains a mixture of chords labeled with both ‘sus’, “sus2” and ‘sus4’. Since I personally use both ‘sus2’ and ‘sus4’ I was hoping to find a definitive answer as to whether ‘sus’ = ‘sus4’ or some other suspended chord type.

Thanks to Wikipedia:

A suspended chord (‘sus chord) is a chord in which the third is omitted, usually with either a perfect fourth or a major second added, although the fourth is far more common. The lack of a minor or a major third in the chord creates an open sound, which can suggest a minor or a major tonality.

The term is borrowed from the contrapuntal technique of suspension, where a note from a previous chord is carried over to the next chord, and then resolved down to the third or tonic, suspending a note from the previous chord. However, in modern usage, the term concerns only the notes played at a given time; in a suspended chord the added tone does not necessarily resolve, and is not necessarily “prepared” (i.e., held over) from the prior chord.

To summarize, a suspended chord occurs where the second or most often the fourth replaces the third.

major chord – is comprised of 3 notes:  root, 3rd and 5th (ie: C chord is C E G)

sus2 chord – is comprised of 3 notes: root, 2nd, and 5th (ie: Csus2 is C D G)

sus4 chord – is comprised of 3 notes: root, 4th and 5th (ie: Csus4 is C F G)

Next theory lesson will be a brief lesson on added tone chords.

add4 chord – is comprised of 4 notes: root, 3rd, 5th and adding also the 4th (ie: Cadd4:  C E G + F)

Whew!  You made it through all the theory … to reward you, how about another free Christmas MP3?  Todd Agnew’s 2006 release “Do You See What I See?” has a free track “No Room