Christmas Carols and Love Songs

 

What is it about the classic Christmas carols that sweep me away into the beauty of the season? Listening to them is like wandering into an enchanted forest where heaven scented words dangle from the snow dusted trees and where the birds must be singing the angelic chorus from that night so long ago, a chorus that has been passed down from each feathered generation to generation with reverence and wonder.  They are songs telling of God Himself setting aside His divine majesty and picking up the shameful frailty of men, all to the purpose of romancing the entirety of humanity. These songs are the types of things you want to whisper to listening children by candle light or shout aloud on the crowded city streets – because these words tell of a romancing God, they’re the sound of True Love calling to your heart.  Can’t you hear it?

These are some of the Christmas love songs that have made up the soundtrack of my soul this season. …. What are some of your favorite carols right now and why do you love them?

Christmas Bells

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I Heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

 

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

By Edmund Hamilton Sears

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurl
And still their heavenly music floats,
O’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing
And ever o’er its Babel sounds,
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife,
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled,
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not,
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow
Look now! For glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! The days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song,
Which now the angels sing.

 

O Holy Night

By Adolphe Adam

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices.
O night divine, O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices.
O night divine, O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices.
O night divine, O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

 

The Holly and the Ivy

By Unknown

The holly and the ivy,
Now both are full well grown.
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
Oh, the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer.
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Savior.

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good.

The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ

The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.

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 in the choir.

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