Thursday, 20 December 2007

The Worst Christmas Carol Ever...?

I have just attended our staff Christmas carol service (don't worry, the pub comes later!), and was yet again struck by how godawful the words of this old chestnut are (see below), completely falling apart in places.

Observe if you will the complete absence of scanning in the highlighted verse (to the extent of being embarrassingly impossible to sing in fact!). In addition it is utter nonsense, aside from being offensive to any singing virgins! I firmly suspect John Francis Wade was rather drunk when he penned it in the mid-18th Century. Thank goodness someone tacked a decent enough tune on, though you would have thought they might have edited the lyrics while they were about it (Mr Wade being deceased beyond litigation by then).

O Come All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, Joyful, and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels!

Chorus:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! He abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created.


Chorus:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens, of heaven above!
Glory to God, in the highest!

Chorus:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing.

Chorus:
O come, let us etc

O come, let us adore Him with better words than these!

Or can anyone think of a worse one?

Merry Christmas to you all incidentally - I'll be taking a blogging break for a week or so now, as I suspect many of you will too. Some people still insist on communicating in the old-fashioned way it seems, and they all want visits at Christmas!

6 comments:

Elizabeth Baines said...

You have reminded me of how, every year in chapel, my naughty little sister used to camp up that highlighted verse!

The Sagittarian said...

Haha, awful words indeed. Mind you, most services we go to seems that people kind of mumble the verses and sing with great gusto the chorus!
By the way, my link comes to you via Christchurch NZ...Merry Ho Ho Ho to you and yours. We sing Snoopies Christmas at our house!

Steve said...

Oh my God is that verse real? I must have sung that carol countless times in school and don't recall that verse at all... and as a grubby adolescent I'm sure I would have sniggered profusely over the words "virgin" and "womb". Maybe my school had a sanitzed version? Or feminized...?

The Birdwatcher said...

Yep dreadful lyrics. I bet he squirmed with embarrassment everytime he heard it.

nearside said...

I always played in the school orchestra, so I never really got a chance to sing this one. But I remember it as being one of my favorite actual tunes to a Christmas carol. The trombone part is especially good!

superstar said...
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