Songs of the Season – Lily and Madeleine – In the Bleak Midwinter

This is a song that I’ve heard more often as an instrumental than with lyrics, though, ironically, the song was written to fit the poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti. Oddly enough, I remember reading a blog post about Rossetti recently, but I don’t know where now. Ironically, the original name of the poem was “A Christmas Carol”.

In any case, this is a version with the lyrics, sung by two sisters, and it’s simple but amazingly beautiful as well.

“A Christmas Carol” (1872)

In the bleak mid-winter
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 mid-winter
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 mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful 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 only His Mother
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 I can I give Him, —
Give my heart.

So beautiful, yet captures a bit of the melancholy of the season as well.

UPDATE: It was a post from Bluebird of Bitterness commemorating Christina Rossetti’s birthday that I was thinking of!

In addition to the “Carol of the Bells” playlist, I’ve started a general playlist of Christmas songs that will include pieces mentioned here, for anyone interested.

dore canto 31 white rose

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