Now that we’ve explored Christmas/Holiday movies, let’s talk about music! I have deep and abiding memories of certain Christmas carols, mainly from a caroling party that my family attended for more than 50 years. We would practice at our friends’ house and then pile into cars and drive into the city and go caroling down a tiny city street where other friends had lived. (This is totally NOT us!)
The first carol, if you call it that, that I remember consciously learning was O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Today, it’s still my favourite carol, and I love almost any and every version of it. I just heard a great version by the punk band, Bad Religion!
Here’s a slightly calmer version.
Sometimes, it’s the words that just get to me. The song, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, has such evocative words that I can barely sing them.
1. O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by:
Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee to-night.
2. For Christ is born of Mary; And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together Proclaim the holy birth;
And praises sing to God the King, And peace to men on earth.
3. How silently, how silently, The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming, But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, The dear Christ enters in.
I love the song, Once In Royal David’s City, mainly because of the story behind the singing of it during the Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols at King’s College, Cambridge. The song starts with a soloist singing the first verse. So he doesn’t get nervous, all of the boys practice singing it, and literally, at the last second, before the concert goes out across the world, live to millions, one child is tapped on the shoulder and he’s the soloist. It gives me chills.
I could go on and on, I really like Christmas music, but now it’s your turn! What’s your favourite?