Still, Still, Still

I’m not quite sure why, but many of the Christmas songs, carols, “anthems” even, that I enjoy a great deal are lullabys. The first Christmas song I wrote–back in the day when I wrote at least one a year for my annual “Christmas cards”–was a lullaby, and most of the Christmas songs I wrote up until I stopped doing so were lullabys. I suppose the fact that I wrote my first Christmas song after I’d experienced the miracle of holding my own children, sometimes singing them to sleep–sometimes–may have something to do with it. And I suppose the paradox of the incarnation made so glaringly obvious in Philippians 2:5-11 has something to do with it as well.

Still, Still, Still
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Still, Still, Still – Jon Schmidt / German Carol

Another Jon Schmidt rendition, this time a full ersion. If you like it, take time to CLICK on through to his site and purchase some mp3s. Mash up your own CD or purchase one of his to download.

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The Star Carol

The Alfred Burt Carols have rightly earned a place in the Christmas repertoire of choirs around the world. Words by Wihla Hutson and music by Alfred S. Burt wedded beautifully have been a part of twc central’s Christmases long, long before there was a “twc central.” In another Christmas Alliance post, here’s the first verse of The Star Carol, with the rest of the words at the link and a snippet of another beautiful performance by Jon Schmidt in place of voices for the music. (Note: the musical snippet starts about the last couple of musical phrases, continues with the first two. You’ll probably be able to figure it out. :-))

Long years ago on a deep winter night,
High in the heav’ns a star shone bright,
While in a manger a wee baby lay,
Sweetly asleep on a bed of hay.

The Star Carol

The Wexford Carol

As part of The Christmas Alliance, today’s offering is The Wexford Carol, piano performance by Jon Schmidt.

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His belovèd Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day;
In Bethlehem upon the morn
There was a blest Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide
The noble virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass:
From every door repelled, alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble oxen stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom God’s angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
“Prepare and go”, the angels said,
“To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there you’ll find, this happy morn,
A princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.”

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as God’s angel has foretold,
They did our Savior Christ behold.
Within a manger He was laid,
And by His side the virgin maid
Attending to the Lord of Life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

Wexford Carol – Jon Schmidt / Irish Carol

(And do see below the fold)

Trackposted to The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Allie is Wired, Democrat=Socialist, Woman Honor Thyself, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Christmas Alliance 2008

ANNOUNCEMENT! The Carnival of Christmas is up. Kat has done a beautiful job of rounbding up and presenting a wonderful collection of Christmas posts. Merry Christmas!

NOTE: This is a “sticky post”; for newer posts, see directly below. From now until Christmas, it’ll be all Christmas music, all the time, here at third world county. No longer “sticky” as of 12-26-08.


To participate in this year’s Christmas Alliance, see Kat’s post.

Christmas Alliance 2008

This year, the Christmas Alliance will be hosted/managed by Kat, of Cathouse Chat. See the linked post for details.

Today’s welcome to the season of Christmas 2008 is the advent hymn, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”–lyrics by Charles Wesley, tune by Rowland Prichard. The mp3 is a brief excerpt of the sadly OOP rendition of “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” by John Darnell. (You can probably find a used copy of Winterlude — Instrumentals for a Contemplative Christmas available at, though.)

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Christmas Break

Peaceful Christmas afternoon. A nice lunch of my Wonder Woman’s Swedish meatballs on egg noodles and some snowpeas, notalot else. Lovely Daughter brought some ‘special” hot cocoa mix–no tedious boiling and frothing of milk and chocolate today: today is an official “Third World County Central No-Stress Day”–as we’ve tried more and more to make our family gatherings.

Wonder Woman, Lovely Daughter and Son & Heir (yeh, just wait til he sees what he “inherits” *heh* “S&H, You need to change your dad’s diapers again… ” *LOL*), listening to Christmas music that S&H made available, Just started another batch of beer (the wort’s at a boil and will steep and cool for a bit after a while), sitting here at the kitchen computer (a PC-BSD box) just letting the ambiance bathe my spirit.

*sigh* More days like this would always be welcome, ya know?

Oh, didn’t manage to keep the ECTV (the entertainment center box with a decent amp and speakers attached) off today. But we’re not watching the dam*ed thing (yeh, that’s a theological hypothesis). S&H hooked up his XBox 360, cos he loaded several hundred megs of Xmas* mp3s on it and is using it as a temporary media server shooting them through the sound system, managing the “jukebox” with the TV.

Nice of him. I used to just burn a couple of new mix CDs. I guess I ought to see about building a media pc and running some Linux-compatible media software/hardware with it.

Of course, I could attach a real sound system to this lil kitchen PC-BSD box and program Kaffeine with a playlist…

Well, that sort of thing will just have to wait for a day that’s not today. Need to post this, get back to just basking in the family glow for a while longer.

Merry Christmas!

Continue reading “Christmas Break”

“And a child shall lead them… “

[Another post from a former (well, I don’t post there much at all any more) blog, also from more than three years ago, struck me as appropriate for Christmas day. For after all, reconciliation, redemption and sanctification is the whole point of Christmas.]

2 Corinthians 5:17

I was in a curmudgeonly mood (as usual *heh*). Saw a (lame brained, pinheaded) celebrity quoted as saying that all he wanted was an “authentic life.” I commented to my daughter that all he needed for that was a total personality transplant, heck! a pre-frontal lobotomy!

Her comment?

He just needs to know Christ.

My lil ray of sunshine. (Grown woman: a “lil ray of sunshine”–she’ll speak to me about that. :-))

In need of a lobotomy to change your life? Choose Christ instead.

Merry Christmas: On the Gripping Hand

So many reports this year of a “Merry Christmas War” between the factions of traditionalism on one hand and secularism on the other. On the gripping hand… Three years ago on another blog, I wrote the following.

Here’s a thought/shade of memory that’s almost always present whenever I say “Merry Christmas.” I can recall vividly the many times that I witnessed my maternal grandfather openly, extravagantly displaying the Christmas spirit—at all times of the year, in all kinds of places. Here’s a typical memory that surfaces or floats in the background whenever I say “Merry Christmas” to someone… and why it does.

Whenever I visited my maternal grandparents as a child or youth and the visit encompassed a Sunday, we went out to eat for Sunday “dinner” (lunch to much of the country :-)). Invariably, Dad-Dad would be the last to our table and the last out the door because he had to stop and chat briefly with every person he saw. The conversation, if it were with a stranger, would always at some point allow Dad-Dad (allow, nothing—he made it so! :-)) to bring up Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord. Many of those conversations resulted in brief prayers and an exchange of contact information.

You see, Dad-Dad knew that the meaning and message of Christmas wasn’t some warm, fuzzy , nebulous “goodwill to men” that we share at a holiday time, or a time of sharing love with family and friends. No, the meaning of Christmas is the Incarnation and all that implies: sinful man, doomed to an eternity in hell; a loving God who became man in the form of a baby boy in order to redeem this sinful world by His life and propitiary death, and to provide victory and hope through His resurrection.

When I asked him one time why he always stopped to talk to so many people, many of whom he did not—before!—know, on the way to his table (or out the door), he told me that he didn’t want to be the one—missed!—opportunity that perhaps one person may have had to hear the gospel.

“Merry Christmas” is a prayer that God will bless the hearer with a saving knowledge of the life and work, the death, burial and resurrection, the daily presence of One who

” …being in the form of God, did not think being equal with God something to cling to, but made Himself of no reputation, became a servant, coming as a man, And as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross…”

That’s the message “Merry Christmas” holds for those who know Him: We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior. The Light of the World, the Hope of the Nations.

Peace, goodwill toward men.

Merry Christmas.

Noted at The Christmas Alliance. REMINDER: check out The Carnival of Christmas at Cathouse Chat.

The Gift

The Gift

Trees and lights and bells and carols;
Bright-wrapped packages, piled high;
Winter’s sharp blow joins the heralds:
“Christmas-time is nigh!”

Mailmen hurry; shoppers scurry;
Time is fleeing – Oh! So fast!
Parties gather, loud and merry,
Grander than in Christmas’ past.

Pause a moment to remember
That a Savior’s simple birth
Still stirs angel wings in susur’–
“Peace to men; good will on earth!”

Now the Father’s hands that molded
The first Adam in the clay,
Gently ’round a manger folded,
Cradle a Baby in the hay.

So the Greatest Gift extended,
Gift of love and peace to all,
“God’s great love to man descended”
Calls us to a manger stall.

©1990 David Needham

Noted at The Christmas Alliance and submitted to The Carnival of Christmas, hosted this year by Cathouse Chat

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