In the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew does not say how many Magi/Wise Men/Kings visited Jesus Christ after his birth. The gifts presented in Matthew's account are gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Magi are anonymous in Matthew's account, but they became known as Gaspar (or Caspar), Melchior and Balthazar. Sometimes the Magi are depicted as coming from the Middle-East and riding on dromedary camels. Sometimes artists envision them as coming from the Far East, where they ride bactrian camels.
The felt Nativity set from Kyrgyzstan (pictured below, with additional visitors) has an interesting provenance. The person who originally bought these Nativity sets from local artisans noted that there weren't any Wise Men in the collection. The artisans didn't know about the Wise Men, so the person explained that they were traditionally three visitors from the East who brought gifts for the baby Jesus. The artisans made three Kings with turbans, and placed blankets in their hands as gifts to keep the baby Jesus warm.
Photo taken 2 years ago. The felt angel is my addition.
"We Three Kings" is a Christmas carol written by Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr. It appeared in Carols, Hymns, and Song in 1863. The song is in 3/4 time, with five verses, three of which lay out the purpose of the gifts. There is one rousing chorus, which may be familiar to you even if you're a bit vague on the individual verses:
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.
Some of you may be familiar with the parody:
We Three Kings of Orient are,
Tried to smoke a rubber cigar,
It was loaded, it exploded--
We two Kings of Orient are...
My favorite rendition of the parody was on A Prairie Home Companion. You can find the complete parody lyrics here and listen to it here (in Segment One, called "Wise"). You'll need Real Audio player.
I've got guitar chords for you! I've usually seen it written in E minor. If you'd like to play it in E minor, you can find the chords here. I've got chords for you in A minor. Yes, there is that pesky F, but the good news is that it sounds just fine in F7 major, and is good for the quick chord changes.
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