My favourite christmas carol

As it’s almost Christmas, albeit a different one than usual for many of us, I thought I’d tell you what my favourite Christmas Carol is.

It’s not one that’s often sung these days, but I love it for its tune and the words that seem to resonate in modern times.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessèd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendours fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

This is a poem by Edmund Sears written in 1849.

Here’s a link to King’s College Chapel choir singing it.

And my least favourite?

In the Bleak Mid-Winter.

My main objection to this one is that it’s not true to what the weather would have been. We’re talking about Bethlehem in Israel. That’s the Middle East. Temperatures there are between 10 and 20, on the chart I looked up. Hardly ‘Bleak mid-winter’. No ‘frosty winds’ moaning, nor ‘water standing like a stone.’ Certainly no ‘snow on snow.’

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

These words were written by Christina Rosetti, an English poet, in response to a magazine request for a Christmas poem in 1872.

Here’s a link to a performance by King’s College Choir, Cambridge, England.

What are your favourite and least favourite Christmas Carols? Let me know by writing in the comments box.

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7 thoughts on “My favourite christmas carol”

  1. My favorite carol is “O Holy Night.” I love the tune itself as well as the words. Always gives me (good) chill bumps. Hard to say what my least favorite is… Perhaps Paul McCartney’s “Have a Wonderful Christmastime” and this is coming from a guy who has and does worship the Beatles from the moment I heard them here in the USA. They and Paul are number one, but that’s a rather goofy song. Sorry. Another one I don’t care for is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” –it’s fair, not terrible but pretty mediocre compared to most others in spite of its mysterious popularity. That’s it. Just as long as we don’t start hearing the Christmas music until mid-November, I like most of them included the obscure and more ancient carols. Merry (or Happy) Christmas everyone!

    Like

    1. If we’re on Christmas songs, I absolutely HATE Lullaby of New York. Nothing about it says Christmas to me. (OK, it does say ‘And the chimes ring out for Christmas time’)
      I’m with you on O Holy Night, though. It does have the goosebump factor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are several I love; it would take time to list them all.

    For these two songs, I like the Josh Groban version of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and Connie Dover’s version of “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

    Liked by 1 person

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