"Star of Wonder" from Tori’s seasonal record Midwinter Graces is based on the traditional 19th century carol "We Three Kings" (also known as "We Three Kings of Orient Are"). While retaining a lot of the original lyrics, Tori considerably altered the meaning of the anglo-saxon text. Instead of celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Three Kings celebrate the birth –-or, more accurately, rebirth -– of the sun in darkness, the ‘star of wonder’… which is a clear reference to the pagan celebration of the winter soltice which is core to Midwinter Graces.
”As I’ve been exposed to other cultures, I’ve also realized that so many of them have celebrated the birth of the sun—again, that’s S-U-N, not S-O-N—for thousands and thousands of years. It started to make sense to me that this music hadn’t just been created by people a hundred years before,” Tori stated in an interview for Innerviews.com.
This approach makes perfect sense since the magi are coming from the East, from the desert: their coming again means the presence of the sun. Of course, the music and arrangements capture the sun, desert and the Arabic ambience that was missing in the 19th century carol.