Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What About Those Traditional Christmas Carols?

This is a continuation of The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year post as I have a question about the songs of the season.
What happened to the good, ol' fashioned Christmas carol?
I mean, I love almost all of the Christmas season music. Secular and sacred.
But, as The Other McCain notes in this article at The American Spectator, almost all of the Christmas music that was written in the 20th century is secular in nature. Nary is there even a mention of the dreaded "C" word. You know, CHRISTMAS. Why the very popular The Christmas Song starts out "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. . ." I mean, again, I like the song, but it has no focus on the Reason for the Season.
My favorite carol is probably the most politically incorrect one of all.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is so in-your-face about the message but it has such a great tune and tone, that I do not think that anyone realizes the evangelical message of the song. Here are the complete lyrics:

1. God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray:
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

2. In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn,
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn:
O tidings ...

3.From God our heavenly Father
A blessèd angel came,
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name:
O tidings ...

4. The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoicèd much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway,
This blessèd Babe to find:
O tidings ...

5. But when to Bethlehem they came,
Where at this Infant lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray:
O tidings ...

6. Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All others doth deface:
O tidings ...

Note the very beginning of the song:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray

That is in your face, telling all why Jesus Christ was born in the first place. To save us from Satan and that he will be the saviour of the world.
So why would it be politically incorrect?
Well, those merry gentlemen. What about the women? How about the message of the meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ? So judgemental, you know. Talking about Satan and all of that. And talking of that Harlot, Mary. We know that there is no virginess about her. People like the Episcopal heretic "bishop" John Shelby Spong tells us so. He even wrote a whole book about that.
Of course there is that pesky praying stuff. Please, why would Mary kneel to pray?
While I focus on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", there are many other sacred songs that get short-shrift during this season.
Here are the following sacred Songs of the Season that I do not hear as much on the local 24 hour Christmas radio station:
"Hark The Herald Angels Sing"
"Oh Come All Ye Faithful"
"The First Noel"
"We Three Kings"
"Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem"
"Away In A Manger"
"Silent Night"
"It Came On A Midnight Clear"
I am not writing that this is all that I want to hear. I just wished that we could hear more of it. After all, it is the Christmas season and the songs noted above are very much Christmas songs.
The following are winter or secular Seasonal songs:
"Winter Wonderland"
"Home For The Holidays"
"Let It Snow"
"Sleigh Ride"
"Frosty The Snowman"
I do love hearing these songs. But not over the Christmas songs.
BTW, I should also note that the Mainline Protestant churches shy away from the traditional carols. It is not just 24/7 Christmas music radio stations.
So, let me say this.
Enjoy all the Music of the Season. Just let us remember and encourage the traditional carols as equal with the fun and secular.

HT: The Other McCain @ www.rsmccain.blogspot.com

1 comment:

Pat Jenkins said...

great post 64.. and great link.... but i wonder what happen to carolers too? even if we sang the "right" songs nobody goes out to sing 'em...