Monday, December 20, 2010

In The Bleak Midwinter

This beautiful Christmas carol with it's haunting melody has always been a favorite of mine. I have memorized most of the words to other carols so I'm not quite why the words to this haven't been memorized yet. I particularly like the last verse which asks a personal question and gives the answer that the best thing we could give the Lord Jesus is our heart.

Here are the words:

In the bleak midwinter, frost 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 Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall 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,
worshiped 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.

Words: Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
Music: Gustav Holst, 1874-1934

Here are two videos with versions of the song:

First Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Michael George and the Choirs of Coventry and Lichfield Cathedrals sing the whole carol, all five verses which is rather rare I've found!

Second, an instrumental version of the song which is on Lorena McKennitt's Christmas CD:

I hope you're having a lovely week as we get near to Christmas! What are your plans for this week? Got all your shopping done?

God Bless,

1 comment:

Paul said...

so glad to see this post

this haunting carol is a personal favorite of mine as well

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