I may be nursing a cold, but that just gives me an unusual amount of time before Christmas to contemplate the blog caroling tradition from the fabulous footnoteMaven.
Of course, I have a favorite. Though my tastes tends toward secularism with a dash of iconoclasm, there has always been a special place in my heart for the 18th century English hymn, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.
So why this song? Sure, Silent Night is haunting. My snow hating self dreams of a White Christmas when Bing espouses its virtues. And Jingle Bells is downright jubilant. But I’ve never bought a Christmas Album which didn’t include “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen.”
The cadence has always been the biggest draw. So few songs I heard growing up had both reverence and energy. Of course, there has to be a little controversy, which Wikipedia details. Apparently, I learned the more modern adaptation, with “ye” rather “you,” making it sound more archaic than it was when originally published.
Plus, it’s cool that a hymn can inspire such varied musicians as Annie Lenox and Dio:
Definitely, but I think I’ll stick with this one….
Clearly I haven’t shaken my iconoclasm.
See you in the new year. Till then, I’m wishing you a joyous holiday season.
O tidings of comfort and joy…