STLT#238, Within the Shining of a Star

Oh my goodness. It’s the morning of my ordination. Just think – tomorrow, you’ll be reading the words of The REVEREND Kimberley Debus… how about that? Anyway, on to today’s carol, which is a light little lyric set to a light little tune. I spoke about the tune back in February, where I found it …

More

STLT#237, The First Nowell

I am of two minds this morning (that is, of the minds that are focusing on this and not my ordination tomorrow): The first mind is so glad this traditional English* hymn is in our hymnal, lyrics unabridged. It’s familiar, it’s fun to sing the chorus, and it has a wonderful focus on the first …

More

STLT#236, O Thou Joyful Day

Regular readers will note that I was excited that this was the title I’d be singing on the day of my ordination. However, I forgot to adjust the spreadsheet for Light of Ages and of Nations and Amazing Grace – two hymns that have identical words but different melodies or arrangements so were covered on …

More

STLT#234, In the Gentle of the Moon

It’s a day of interesting pairs… First pair: this is the second time the tune Hasidim has been paired with words by Carl Seaburg. Second pair: this is frankly an interesting pair, putting a Christmas lyric to a Hasidic tune – which happened in When the Daffodils Arrive too. I’m not entirely certain the Hasidic Jews …

More

STLT#233, Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

I suppose some Christmas carols shouldn’t be interrogated too deeply… …because otherwise we would never get past the first line. I mean, who are Jeannette and Isabella, why are there French women (or girls) in Bethlehem, and what good will a torch be if Mary’s trying to get the baby to sleep? Yeah, let’s let …

More

STLT#231, Angels We Have Heard on High

Note: There’s some business at the end of the post. Good stuff. — God bless our Hymnal Commission. They worked very hard to ensure the music contained in this collection reflects our theologies, with an eye to expansiveness. I appreciate their hard work – and as I reflected in O Come Emmanuel, I think they often …

More

STLT#229, Gather ‘Round the Manger

Apologies for the delay – we had some technical difficulties out here on the Far Fringe. But we’re back! — Wow am I a creature of habit. Thanks to this practice, I’m learning all these new Christmas songs, realizing that I never even bothered to look past the familiar title to the unfamiliar ones. I don’t …

More

STLT#226, People, Look East

Diving right in – I love this hymn. It’s joyful, it’s anticipatory, it’s hopeful. The lyrics, by 19th century poet Eleanor Farjeon (best known for Morning Has Broken) are a wonderful exploration of the whole earth waiting to welcome the Christ child. Sure, there are two verses missing – but the third verse is not …

More

STLT#225, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

We have seen recast lyrics before, but this section of Advent and Christmas songs will include some of the most obvious-to-us recasts, for those who grew up listening to Christmas carols on the radio, in shopping malls, and on albums.  In some cases, the changes feel conciliatory, in order to make some folks more comfortable. …

More