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.