Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Carols

***This is a really good piece on Christmas carols, their unusual phrasing and syntax, and why we love them year after year.

Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes and We three kings of Orient are — to say nothing of if thou knowst it telling: Have you ever observed just how peculiar the grammar and syntax of Christmas carols can be? Or maybe that should run The songs of Christmas, noticed thou, / the strangeness filled with are — and how?
The oddest may be “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” whose phrasings are now so alien that even the first line gets regularly mangled — punctuated (and sung) as God rest ye, merry gentlemen, which suggests the gentlemen have made so merry that God needs to send them sleep, saving us from their wassailed warbling through the streets. The original meaning was “rest” in the sense of “keep,” requiring the comma in a different place: God rest ye merry, gentlemen — a prayer that God keep joy in the hearts of men. Not that this stops them from spiking the eggnog at the office party, but it might lessen the next day’s hangover.
Meanwhile, a later verse tells us that a blessed angel came and unto certain shepherds / brought tidings of the same. What same? How that in Bethlehem was born / the Son of God by name, of course, and there’s something wonderful about that line. It’s incompetent poetry, filler to make a rhyme of the most naive sort — by name, forsooth — and it’s really quite charming, in its way.



***A Letter from Santa Claus by Mark Twain.


***

The Greatest Birthday

By Udiah

'Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace good will toward men'

Born unto a virgin was God's only begotten Son
Emmanuel (God with us) is the title of The One
Mary's father was of Judah, the linage of a king
Mary's mother was a Levite, from Aaron's priestly string
The world beheld a brilliant star a shining in the east
The sign of Christ, The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and High Priest

'Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace good will toward men'

Shepherds in the field keeping watch over their flock at night
The angel of the Lord appeared and gave them such a fright
'Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy'
For unto you is born this day, a Saviour, Christ the Roi
The Babe is wrapped in swaddling clothes, a lying in the hay
Heavenly host gave praise to God on the greatest birthday

'Glory to God in the highest
And on earth peace good will toward men'

(Luke 1: 5-36,2: 6-14,3: 23-38) 



***Not quite in the spirit...



***

1. Silent night, holy night, 
 all is calm, all is bright 
 round yon virgin 
 mother and child. 
 Holy infant, so tender and mild, 
 sleep in heavenly peace, 
 sleep in heavenly peace. 

2. Silent night, holy night, 
 shepherds quake at the sight; 
 glories stream from heaven afar, 
 heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! 
 Christ the Savior is born, 
 Christ the Savior is born! 

3. Silent night, holy night, 
 Son of God, love's pure light; 
 radiant beams from thy holy face 
 with the dawn of redeeming grace, 
 Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, 
 Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. 

4. Silent night, holy night, 
 wondrous star, lend thy light; 
 with the angels let us sing, 
 Alleluia to our King; 
 Christ the Savior is born, 
 Christ the Savior is born! 
 
***
 


***I'm ready for tomorrow gifts and wrapping-wise. Still have to work on the house a bit to get ready for the family dinner here on the 26th. I'm so thankful that Emily & Peter will be able to stay all night again on Christmas night. It was so great to have them and Johnny here all day and all night last Christmas, what a blessing. Johnny doesn't have to work on the 26th, so he won't have to go back Christmas night. I have enough food in this house right now to feed an army! When I look at all the packages under the tree and the food in my pantry, I'm filled with gratitude, and a little dismay when I think about the petty things I get upset and stressed about. We are so richly blessed with family & friends, and we have everything we need and then some. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas, and don't forget the One who makes it all possible.

***"It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!"... Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!  "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.  Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"  ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

***Have a great day!
 

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