And with one turn of a page, we enter the sublimely ridiculous.
Yes, it’s time, in these last days of autumn, as the nights grow dark and cold, to begin singing our Spring and Summer songs. Because if spiritual practice teaches us anything, it’s to expect bizarre coincidences and juxtapositions. Plus, this is what I get for starting this project on my early October birthday. If I’d started on January 1st, like a normal person might have done, we’d be in the start of March right now and all this singing about spring might make sense. But no, I started on October 4th, which means we’re stuck with spring tunes here in Advent.
I’d say I’m sorry, but if you’re like me, you’re enjoying the juxtaposition too, delighting in my fake misery, and maybe a little relieved that I am giving you a break from the constant cacophony of carols this season brings. (Just remember this feeling when it’s May and we’re working through the aforementioned cacophony of carols.)
I will say this: I am glad we start with this hymn, a beloved and familiar tune, and more lyrics from our man Sam (Samuel Longfellow, that is).
Lo, the earth awakes again — Alleluia!
From the winter’s bond and pain.
Alleluia! Bring we leaf and flower and spray — Alleluia!
to adorn this happy day. Alleluia!
Once again the word comes true,
Alleluia! All the earth shall be made new. Alleluia!
Now the dark, cold days are o’er, Alleluia!
Spring and gladness are before. Alleluia!
Change, then, mourning into praise, Alleluia!
And, for dirges, anthems raise. Alleluia!
How our spirits soar and sing, Alleluia!
How our hearts leap with the spring! Alleluia!
As I sang this – especially the second verse, I thought about how it’s maybe not so bad to sing a spring hymn in autumn, as it reminds us that the dark, cold days we’re facing now will not last – even though at some point it feels like we will never see light and feel warmth again.
I like this one. And because it’s a catchy tune, I will probably be singing it all day. Thank god the only one I will annoy with that is my cat.
I love this tune and was so pleased to find it in the hymnal with words I am able to sing. This has always been one of my favorites – any time of year!
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