Oh, this is just a delightful carol.
I do have an affection for the medieval French tunes – there’s something so joyful and, well, interesting about them. And while this one was never high on the Christmas album hit parade as a child, I have grown to love it as an adult.
The words are another set of the ‘tell the whole story’ lyrics — which is helpful when the pieces stand alone, harder when putting together a “lessons and carols” kind of service.
Sing we now of Christmas, Noel, sing we here!
Hear our grateful praises to the babe so dear.
Sing we Noel, the child is born, Noel!
Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!
Angels called to shepherds, “Leave your flocks at rest,
journey forth to Bethl’hem, find the child so blest.”
In the town they found him, Joseph, and Mary mild,
seated by the manger, watching the holy child.
From the eastern country came the kings afar,
bearing gifts to Bethl’hem, guided by a star.
Gold and myrrh they took there, gifts of greatest price.
There was ne’er a stable so like paradise.
A bit of a non-sequitur: why are Joseph and Mary always called “mild” – is it because it rhymes with “child” and it wouldn’t do for the parents of Jesus to be “wild” or “riled”, “beguiled”, or “defiled”? Just wondering. I’d think by this point in the story they’d be irritated, tired, and hangry. But that’s me.
Anyway… not much more to offer this morning. It’s a lovely piece, and it was fun to sing this morning, but on the whole, I feel Christmassed out.
Perhaps instead of attempting to rhyme with “child,” they should try rhyming with “baby.” Maybe? Flaky? Kuwaiti? Or how about “infant”? Vincent? (That was the name of the camel-handler who came along with the Wise Men.) Contingent?
This could be fun!