Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the the 6th Day

In The Bleak Midwinter - Christina G. Rossetti/Gustav Holst
1. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind 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.

2. Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

3. Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

4. 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 my heart.

This song moves me tremendously...the lyrics are exquisite...verse one is so haunting and lonely. And the last verse, oh my heart!!
I don't have a "favorite arrangement" of this song, but I do like to play it on the piano and sing it in my head and heart. (Ok, if no one is home, I like to sing it out loud, too.) I am most familiar with Twila Paris' pretty version of this song. I do like Sarah McLachlan's less traditional melody in her arrangement, and I just today discovered the Indigo Girls' version, with acoustic guitar and richer harmony.
My hope every Christmas season is that the last verse would be in the front of my mind.

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