Ahhh…’tis the season for marvelous music my friends! This time of year is filled with the beloved sounds, notes, carols, voices, instruments, and glorious music ushering in the message and arrival of Christmas.
While talking and laughing early this morning with my sis during her morning commute, she was sharing her intense prep work for singing a special performance next week in Boston. I reminded her of her very first singing experience (see the picture) at age 3 as a member in The Cherub Choir at Kessler Park United Methodist Church. Momma literally coaxed her (tears and all) to “boldly and courageously march in the line, stand still, open your mouth, and proudly sing for all to hear!” Gratefully, she accepted mom’s challenge and has successfully continued to do so beautifully for many decades now!
We both share a deep and abiding love for all types of music, including Christmas music, and especially carols. When pressed for specifics, two personal favorites come to mind…
The first choice is one our grandmother sang often, a French carol called The Holly and the Ivy (you can see her handiwork here):
The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown;
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing of the choir…
The second carol is one we sing frequently in church. Gustav Holst composed the music in 1906, set to Christina Rossetti’s beautiful 1872 poem, In The Bleak Midwinter:
In the bleak midwinter, frosty winds 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… (there are two more verses and this final one)
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 Him my heart.
Both of these pieces hold deep and personal meaning, but are only two of a long list of favorites. So, here’s your Christmas Question to ponder today:
What are your personal favorite Christmas carols/songs to hear, play, and sing during the season?
Here’s hoping you experience many extraordinarily beautiful seasonal sounds, my friends!
PS: Beck…sing on! And Rachel…play on my favorite oboist!
The precious picture of Becky, together with your recollections, unleashed a flood of wonderful memories of the ties between our families, including the magical years Betty enjoyed both engaging the young children in the Cherub Choir and sharing so many fun times with your Momma. Becky later sang in Janelle’s wedding. Beck…sing on! And Rachel…play on! Three songs to add to the beautiful choices above: “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”, “Once in Royal David’s City”, and “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light”.
Our families beautifully entwined through so many life experiences indeed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adding more beautiful carols to the list, my friend! Big hugs! b
Mary do you know?
Do you hear what I hear?
Momma sang this piece for many years on Christmas Eve, then my sister took over the gift… Thanks for sharing! b
O’ Holy Night