Um…yeah. Wow. Okay. Um… hooboy.
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Not because I’m in awe or enraged, but because, well, wow… someone actually turned this into a song? Like, for us to sing?
You see, I sing these words and what I hear is a minister trying to explain to their very humanist congregation that we’re gonna celebrate at least one Christian holy day, dammit, so get off my back already and enjoy it, and it’s just one damn day of the year so chill out, because I’m about to give you a way to enter into the holy day that doesn’t offend your religious allergies.
O we believe in Christmas, and we keep Christmas day;
and we will honor Christmas the ancient worldwide way:
the Christmas of all peoples, the sun’s returning cheer
rung out from towers and steeples at midnight of the year.
And we will join at Christmas the song of hope and joy
that finds its theme at Christmas in every girl and boy.
The flame of life will dwindle as fades the sunset sky
until a child shall kindle new light and raise that high.
Then sing we all at Christmas the song of that new birth
which holds the hope of Christmas and brings its joy to earth;
which knits the generations, each daughter and each son,
beyond all tribes and nations, and makes the many one.
Shine out ye lights of Christmas from hearth and tree and star!
And let the warmth of Christmas shed kindness near and far!
And clang, ye bells of Christmas, upon the frosty air!
And may the joy of Christmas spread gladness everywhere!
It’s entirely possible this song has turned me into a curmudgeon.
And I’d love to hear from others if they ever use this song from ethical culturist Percival Chubb, an Englishman (with a name like that, who’d have doubted it?) who moved to America to teach in the Ethical Culture School in New York City (and founded the Drama League in America – yay!). I can’t imagine ever using this, even as a reading.
The image is the first thing that came up when I searched for Percival Chubb, and it delighted me so I decided to use it.