Today’s Reading: John 3:16

There were many songs that could have made it to the Christmas Eve Playlist – Still, Still, Still and God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen were the original choices, but this song sung by Julie Andrews that I had never heard before this year, got the nod. This song has the peaceful properties needed in a time where one can easily become frazzled and distracted. No, we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, but we do take time to celebrate that He came. The melody is that of a lullaby, but the lyrics sound wishful – like more of a what we wish we would have done, what we wish we could have done.

1. Little Jesus, sweetly sleep, do not stir;
We will lend a coat of fur,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you:
See the fur to keep you warm,
Snugly round your tiny form.

2. Mary’s little baby, sleep, sweetly sleep,
Sleep in comfort, slumber deep;
We will rock you, rock you, rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you:
We will serve you all we can,
Darling, darling little man.

This carol is of Czech origin. It was collected in the early 1920 by a Miss Jacubickova as ‘Hajej, nynjej’ and translated (very loosely) by Percy Dearmer, for The Oxford Book of Carols in 1928. Dearmer was a clergyman and socialist with a keen interest in contemporary concerns, social gospel and rescuing neglected English carols and introducing European carols. The final line of Dearmers’s version has not appealed to everyone, and some have sought to change it, e.g. to ‘Son of God and Son of Man.’ The tune for the carol has a close resemblance to that of another traditional lullaby, ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’, and it is possible that this carol originally accompanied cradle rocking, a custom which began in German churches in medieval times and spread from there across Europe. The carol was popularised in the English speaking world by a recording made in the 1960s by Julie Andrews.


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