Friday, December 09, 2005

Soundtrack for Thirteenth Day of Advent

I have a favorite advent hymn today from Gloria -- Carols of Christmas by St. Michael's Singers. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" has never been a favorite of mine. Until today.

The tune makes all the difference. The tune I am accustomed to hear Midnight Clear is "Carol." St. Michael's Singers use "Noel." I like it much better. If you open here in a new window, you can listen and read the words.

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold: "Peace on earth, good will to men, from heaven's gracious King." The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled, and still their heavenly music floats o'er all the weary world; above its sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing, and ever o'er its Babel-sounds the blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long; beneath the heavenly hymn have rolled two thousand years of wrong; and warring humankind hears not the tidings which they bring; O hush the noise and cease your strife and hear the angels sing!

O ye, beneath life's crushing load whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow; look now, for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing: O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old, when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold, when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their King, and all the world send back the song which now the angels sing.

1 comment:

Carol in Oregon said...

Very nice, Janie! I gave the Ambrose hymn to my friend, with the suggestion that it would work well with Old Hundredth. I hope we sing it this Advent.