Posts Tagged ‘James Taylor’

I think I first heard In the Bleak Midwinter on Dan Fogelberg’s 1999 project The First Christmas Morning. If you don’t have this CD, go buy it now. It has a distinct acoustic old-world sound that takes you back to Christmases past. Later, I heard James Taylor’s rendition of the song on the 2004 Hallmark release A Christmas Album. The same cuts, plus or minus a song or two, were released by Columbia in 2006 as James Taylor at Christmas. You should go buy this CD as well. Dan and James both give moving performances of this old carol. I believe the lyrics included here are the original verses. The artists on modern recordings have revised or omitted certain lines or stanzas in order to make the language more current. Either way, they are lovely lyrics set to an equally lovely melody.

In the Bleak Midwinter
Lyrics by Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
Music by Gustav Holst, 1874-1934

In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.


Wikipedia: In the Bleak Midwinter


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