1062 Autumnwood Dr, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1C7  (204) 256-8792

Notes on the Notes – December 27, 2020

Decorations and Traditions

This week’s music:

Joy is Now in Every Place” (VU #45)

“Joy is now in every place,
Christmas lightens every face;
Now be with us, in your grace,
O hear us, bless us, holy Jesus.

May the star that shone that night,
Making your poor stable bright,
Fill our hearts with love and light,
O hear us, bless us, holy Jesus.

Through the New Year let it stay,
Leading us upon your way,
Making Christmas every day,
O hear us, bless us, holy Jesus.

Now and ever may we find
Your good news to fill our mind:
Peace and love to humankind,
O hear us, bless us, holy Jesus.

According to the Canadian Youth Hymnal (1939), the source of this carol was Child Education, December 1929, although the author of the words is unknown.  The German carol tune has been in use since the 1500s, when it was used in medieval mystery plays about the nativity.  It is the tune for the German carol “Joseph lieber, Joseph mein.”

Hear a lyrical version of the carol played on piano at: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=8Ks2BECS3yM

“The Holly and the Ivy”

“The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown:
The rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom, as white as any flow’r
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, to be our dear Saviour:
The rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.

The Holly and the Ivy” is a traditional British folk Christmas carol. The song can be traced only as far as the early nineteenth century, but the lyrics reflect an association between holly and Christmas dating at least as far as medieval times. The lyrics and melody varied significantly in traditional communities, but the song has since become standardized. The version which is now popular was collected in 1909 by the English folk song collector Cecil Sharp in the market town of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, England, from a woman named Mary Clayton. This week, we will be singing only 2 of the many verses of this carol. And, hopefully, it won’t be too long before we again hear “sweet singing in the choir” in our own building!

Hear a longer version of the carol sung by King’s College Cambridge at: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=l7eHtDtZ7hs

“Joy Shall Come” (VU #23)

“Joy shall come even to the wilderness,
And the parched land shall then know great gladness;
As the rose, as the rose shall deserts blossom,
Deserts like a garden blossom.
For living springs shall give cool water,
In the desert streams shall flow;
For living springs shall give cool water,
In the desert streams shall flow.”

Based on Isaiah 35:1-10, this hymn uses a traditional Israeli tune, arranged by Darryl Nixon in 1987. A desert bloom is a dramatic climatic phenomenon that occurs when the rains finally come. The rainfall reaches the seeds and bulbs that have been in dormant state, often for years, causing them to bloom and flower abundantly. One can only imagine the joy of the ancient peoples experiencing this phenomenon after years of heat and dryness. Through his words, Isaiah likens the coming of the future Messiah to this experience.

Hear the hymn at: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=PExNRqK3PPA

“The Circle of Love”

“The circle of love goes around and around.
The circle of love goes around.
Reach out, lend a hand.
Someone needs you,
And the circle of love goes around.

Look, people are searching,
Afraid of the journey alone,
Stop, reach out;
Someone needs you,
And the circle of love goes around.

The circle of love goes around and around.
The circle of love goes around.
Reach out, lend a hand.
Someone needs you,
And the circle of love goes around.”

This song comes from the collection “All God’s Children Sing.” The source is unknown.

“Christmas Peace”

“Lord, be born in our hearts this day,
Christ-child spirit bring peace we pray,
Make the strife in the world to cease,
Bring us Lord, Christmas peace.
Christmas peace, Christmas peace,
Bring us Lord, Christmas peace.

Lord, the world cries for unity
Bind our hearts in community,
From all hatred our souls release,
Bring us Lord, Christmas peace.
Christmas peace, Christmas peace,
Bring us Lord, Christmas peace.”

This song was written by Richard Blank in 1973, and expresses our on-going wish for peace in the world.

“O Christmas Tree”

“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
With faithful leaves unchanging;
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
With faithful leaves unchanging;

Not only green in summer’s heat,
But also winter’s snow and sleet,
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
With faithful leaves unchanging.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Your leaves will teach me, also,
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Your leaves will teach me, also,

That hope and love and faithfulness
Are precious things I can possess.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Your leaves will teach me, also.

O Tannenbaum” is a German Christmas song. Based on a traditional folk song which was unrelated to Christmas, it became associated with the traditional Christmas tree by the middle of the 19th century and sung as a Christmas carol.

The modern lyrics were written in 1824, by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz. A Tannenbaum is a fir tree. The lyrics do not actually refer to Christmas, or describe a decorated Christmas tree. Instead, they refer to the fir’s evergreen quality as a symbol of constancy and faithfulness.

See Andre Rieu and his orchestra play the carol at: https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=Hn7Ldd3Ijl0

Categories: General News, Notes on the Notes