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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?
National Review, by Joseph Bottum

Original Article

Posted By:Fiesta del sol, 12/24/2012 6:09:30 AM

Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes and We three kings of Orient are — to say nothing of if thou knowst it telling: Have you ever observed just how peculiar the grammar and syntax of Christmas carols can be? Or maybe that should run The songs of Christmas, noticed thou, / the strangeness filled with are — and how? The oddest may be “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” whose phrasings are now so alien that even the first line gets regularly mangled — punctuated (and sung) as God rest ye, merry gentlemen,

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: StormCnter, 12/24/2012 7:24:02 AM     (No. 9081524)

I loaded the CD player with various Christmas albums yesterday, just to play as background. The best one is the Irish Tenors´, the very worst by a landslide is George Strait´s. I like George Strait, but he should stay far away from Christmas carols.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: ROLFnader, 12/24/2012 7:55:22 AM     (No. 9081568)

This is a delightful article. Rare is the writer that can take a subject so familiar and remind us, once again , how important and necessary traditions are to us.

God bless the master of this house
And the mistress also
And the little children that your ´round table grow

The cattle in your stable
The dog by your front door
And all that dwell within your gates
We wish you ten times more



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Reply 3 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 12/24/2012 8:09:55 AM     (No. 9081594)

At long last we learn what Yoda did for a living before he became a Jedi...

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Reply 4 - Posted by: ScarletPimpernel, 12/24/2012 9:10:52 AM     (No. 9081703)

I love Christmas carols.

For our dear Ldotter´s, I encourage you all to go to YouTube and listen to Keith and Kristyn Getty´s "Joy - An Irish Christmas". The Gettys are modern hymn writers, and this Christmas album is just superb. Although the album includes a few traditional songs, with reels (you´ll love "What Child is This"), their own Christmas hymns are, in my opinion, destined to become classics. Just as important as the wonderful music, their lyrics are meant to teach. Please do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with the Gettys. And Merry Christmas to all of you!

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Reply 5 - Posted by: keeptherepublic, 12/24/2012 9:34:04 AM     (No. 9081743)

My favorite Christmas song these days is, "Mary, did you know?"

The part about when she kissed her bby boy, did she know she was kissing the face of god just sends shivers down my spine.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 12/24/2012 10:00:10 AM     (No. 9081789)

awww 6 - I truly agree. I bought a country compilation CD just to have the Mary Did You Know by Kenny Rogers and Wynona. It makes me weep and smile...

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Reply 7 - Posted by: secondtimelucky, 12/24/2012 10:26:33 AM     (No. 9081847)

Breathe of Heaven is another with truly moving lyrics...

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Reply 8 - Posted by: farmwife, 12/24/2012 10:57:24 AM     (No. 9081913)

I like them all, and love ´Breath of Heaven´.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: realrep, 12/24/2012 10:57:47 AM     (No. 9081914)

I like the words in ´God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen´
´To save us all from Satan´s power when we were gone astray´

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Reply 10 - Posted by: kanphil, 12/24/2012 12:06:35 PM     (No. 9082040)

The headline omits the comma after Merry, which is vital to the understanding of the original.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: thelmalou, 12/24/2012 12:33:04 PM     (No. 9082086)

Amen, #10. I love all the old things.


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Reply 12 - Posted by: jlw509, 12/24/2012 3:55:50 PM     (No. 9082328)

I like "Cradle Carol," sometimes called by the first line, "Hush my child, lie still and slumber," originally by Isaac Watts I think, more recently sung the great Doc Watson.

Very good in its 4-part shape-note iteration. Makes me glad to be Appalachian.

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