Day 18: A Christmas Carol-What Sweeter Music

A Christmas Carol, Sung To The King1 In The Presence At Whitehall

Words: Robert Herrick (1591-1674), 1648
Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 230-1.

What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
Heart, ear, and eye, and everything.
Awake! the while the active finger
Runs division with the singer.

Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honor to this day,
That sees December turned to May.

If we may ask the reason, say
The why, and wherefore, all things here
Seem like the springtime of the year?

Why does the chilling Winter's morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell, like to a mead new-shorn,
Thus, on the sudden?

Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
'Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
To heaven, and the under-earth.

We see Him come, and know Him ours,
Who, with His sunshine, and His showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.

The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome Him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart,

Which we will give Him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do Him honor; who's our King,
And Lord of all this reveling.

A Christmas Carol

I was introduced to this song at the Faith Baptist Bible College Festival of Carols Christmas Concert a few weeks ago.  It was a vocal arrangement called "What Sweeter Music." I had no idea what the song's origin was and assumed it was a new song.  Then today, I am searching for a carol for the 18th, and find one called, A Christmas Carol. I open it up...and surprise! I know this song!
Then I look on youtube for a video of it, and voila! It's a famous song!
Me and my assumptions....:)
This video is by vocalessence, and well worth watching! The words WITH the music is even more powerful! (again, if you pause the music at the bottom of the page, you will be able to experience the video better:)

Today will be a crazy day! Church cantata practice from nine until twelve, and then our youth group's Christmas party, complete with ice skating, white elephant exchange, and an ugly sweater contest!
But the message of this song reminds me...despite busyness, God desires my worship and my praise! Every time I sing or meditate on a Christmas carol, I can praise my God for His amazing gift of Christ!
He has changed my life, so that there is purpose in the hustle and bustle; I know the Lord of all this revelling and public mirth!
Awake the voice! Awake the string!  What sweeter music can we bring than a carol about our Lord's birth?

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