Wednesday, December 21, 2011

day 21

I wasn't a huge fan of this song when I was a child, but I really love it now. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is a traditional English carol from the 1800's. According to Wikipedia,
"There is some confusion today about the meaning of the first line, which seems archaic to our ears. It is usually given today as "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", with a comma after the word "merry", so does not refer to "merry gentlemen". "Rest" here denotes "keep or make," with "you" as the object of "rest;" "ye" which gives 16 definitions of the word, some going back to the 10th century, all having to do with pleasure or enjoyment. In both of the 18th-century instances, "you" was used instead of "ye," suggesting that the latter may be a modern insertion to make the carol sound more quaintly archaic."
In any event, the tune is interesting because it is minor much of the for versions of this song, there are a bazillion! I love the ones by: MercyMe, Glee (LOL I know, but it's a great one...especially the bridge), Barenaked Ladies did a Peter, Paul and Mary-sounding one, August Burns Red has a CRAZY rockin' one, Straight No Chaser has a pretty groovy one, my new favorite group downhere has a terrific one, Steven Curtis Chapman, Canadian Brass, Orla Fallon (of Celtic Woman), Sissel, Kim Hill has a beautiful one on guitar, Mannheim Steamroller, Steven Sharp Nelson (the cello dude on The Piano Guys), and another lovely guitar version on A Winter's Solstice V. Could I pick a favorite? No, not likely! But look at the words below in bold...pretty profound!

On another website, Hymns and Carols of Christmas, I found 9 (yes NINE) verses:
1. God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay.
For Jesus Christ our Savior,
Was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
For Jesus Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day.

2. In Bethlehem, in Jury,
This blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger,
Upon this blessed morn;
The which His mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn.

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

4. Fear not, then said the Angel,
Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Savior,
Of virtue, power, and might;
So frequently to vanquish all,
The friends of Satan quite;

5. The shepherds at those tidings,
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a feeding,
In tempest, storm, and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway,
This blessed babe to find:

6. But when to Bethlehem they came,
Whereas this infant lay
They found him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray:

7. With sudden joy and gladness
The shepherds were beguiled,
To see the Babe if Israel,
Before His mother mild,
O then with joy and cheerfulness
Rejoice, each mother's child.

8. 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,
Doth bring redeeming grace.

9. God bless the ruler of this house,
And send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas
May live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred
That live both far and near.

Alternate Chorus:

That God send you a happy new year,
Happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.

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