STLT#227, Créche Flickers Bright Here

How have I never sung this?

It is such a gentle, delightful lyric (by Howard Box), set to such a delightful little tune (a Hungarian folk song).

Am I the only one who has never included this one in any Christmas anything I’ve done? Is it because we have so many familiar Christmas carols already, I don’t feel the need to reach for a new one? That seems silly when I type it out, although it’s entirely possible. Is it because it feels a bit like a children’s tune? I say that’s a silly reason, and really, a children’s Christmas carol is all the more welcome, to combat the onslaught of magic snowmen and renegade reindeer and questionable presents.

What’s more, its nice to have a Christmas carol that is exceptionally Christmas without being exceptionally “son of God” centered, but rather hope, peace, and tenderness-centered.

Créche flickers bright here, sing by the light here
at night fall, at night fall.
Mother’s here keeping a child who’s sleeping
in the stall, in the stall.

Father’s beside them, sheep nearly hide them.
Angels call, angels call.
Shepherds and sages bow through the ages,
kindred all, kindred all.

Créche flickers bright here, sing by the light here
at night fall, at night fall.
This is our token, by sign unspoken:
peace to all, peace to all.

I just love this little piece. I even love that Box used “kindred all” in the second verse. Not thrilled about “token” – but he really wanted the rhyme, I guess. I should also mention that I love this lyric as compared to his words for Bells in the High Tower. Where that one falls terribly flat for me, this one rings true.

So yeah. I’m a fan. I wish I’d thought to learn it a few years ago, because it would have been featuring prominently in my Christmas Eve services – and who knows when I’ll get to design one of those again.

Meanwhile, we’re in full on Christmas mode here at the Far Fringe…. let’s see if just singing a carol every day makes us as sick of them as we get during the actual season!

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