Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Favorite Christmas Carol

Maybe I'm rushing the season, but I've been listening to Christmas Carols this weekend. I listened the 90 minute drive to and from my parents' in Maine and went through a few albums and artists as I drove: Il Divo, Michael MacDonald, The Carpenters, Sissel, James Taylor, Take 6, and John Rutter. Quite an eclectic collection, wouldn't you say? And that's just a small portion of the albums I have relating to Christmas!

With so many artists trying to put their own spin on some of the same carols, you would think that I might favor one over others. And while that may or may not be true, one thing is for sure, I do have a favorite carol. I was surprised to discover that I was not alone in my choice. The BBC Music Magazine took a poll of 51 of the world's leading choirmasters and choral experts. Lo and behold, my personal favorite carol was also theirs! Christina Rossetti's In the Bleak Midwinter tops my list and theirs. If you've ever heard or sung it, perhaps you understand why:

In the bleak midwinter
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 midwinter,
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 midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full 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 his mother only,
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 can I give Him--
Give my heart.

Pictures were taken in my parents' back yard this morning.


inlandempiregirl said...

It is one of my favorites also... especially sung by James Taylor.

sunny said...

You have a knack for discovering the hidden beauty.

Rondi said...

IEG--that whole James Taylor CD is lovely!

Sunny--right back at you!