Thursday, December 25, 2008

carollers at the door

hey!!!!! it's christmas day!!!!!! so happy christmas to all of my readers no matter where you are.

i remember one christmas holiday travelling around with a group of my friends to sing christmas carols. our goal - fun - pure and simple. i recall that we had imbibed our fair share of riesling before we headed out on our noble journey which only served to enhance the joy.

so today i'll share with you three carols starting with my favourite . . . i saw three ships . . . next up . . .good king wenceslas the lyrics for this carol are rich with images in my mind connected to my last christmas in england. i was eight years old and staying at a "christian endeavour home" in saltburn up on the yorkshire coast.

at the time, my dad was three thousand miles away carving out a life for himself and his to be arriving shortly family. it snowed while we there and i recall one journey out into the countryside that filled my mind with (what have become) archetypal images of a magical christmas. i wish i could put the sensations of that particular day into writing for you, but the effect of seeing snow, moorland, waterfalls, rivers, and the pennines filled my head and heart and to this day i can recall and feel the very same childlike wonder at it all inside me.

and so i'll indulge myself by sharing the lyrics of good king wenceslas with you here . .

good king wenceslas looked out, on the feast of stephen,
when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;
brightly shone the moon that night, tho' the frost was cruel,
when a poor man came in sight, gath'ring winter fuel.

"hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know'st it, telling,
yonder peasant, who is he? where and what his dwelling?"
"sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain;
right against the forest fence, by saint agnes' fountain."

"bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither:
thou and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither."
page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together;
through the rude wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.

"sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger;
fails my heart, i know not how; i can go no longer."
"mark my footsteps, good my page. tread thou in them boldly
thou shalt find the winter's rage freeze thy blood less coldly."

in his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
therefore, christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

to learn more about this carol then you can give one of my old posts a read!
and of course . . . the holly and the ivy . . .

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