“Lo, How a Rose”

One of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever, rich in imagry, beautiful marriage of tune and text. Sample the choral voices singing in German, then click on through on the link below to hear the rest beautifully sung by Kathleen Battle. Her voice can be heard in the full performance found here.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
of Jesse’s lineage coming,
as those of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
the Rose I have in mind;
Mary we behold it,
the Virgin Mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
she bore to us a Savior,
when half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story
proclaimed by angels bright,
how Christ, the Lord of glory
was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
and in the manger they found him,
as angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
with sweetness fills the air,
dispels with glorious splendor
the darkness everywhere;
true man, yet very God,
from sin and death he saves us,
and lightens every load.

Strangely, when I think of “my life in/with Christmas music,” I think of this song as one heard and learned rather “late” in that experience: I first sang this song in high school while singing in the changed voices section (all three of us) of a boys choir, well over 40 years ago. *heh* “Late” indeed. 🙂

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