This is just a fun blog to share some of my favorite Christmastime songs with you and to get you thinking about lyrics and how they can bring meaning to music. Song lyrics are like poems, and songs are a marriage of words and music, two of my most favorite things.
The lyrics of Christmas and holiday songs are special. From the spiritual to the fun loving, all of them evoke certain images and feelings in anyone. Even those who aren’t religious/spiritual, enjoy these songs because they resonate with joy, fun, love and hope.
I have a lot of favorite Christmas carols and songs. Some are favorites because of childhood memories. Others are favorites for personal or spiritual reasons.
A Christmas Carol favorite is Away in a Manger. As a small child I loved that there was a lullaby for Jesus. I remember singing it to my dolls at Christmas when I got ready for bed.
My parents had a number of albums of Christmas from different countries. From the Christmas in England album I learned that there was another melody for Away in a Manger. This alternate melody has become my favorite. The lyric remains the same.
Away in a manger no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.
I love thee Lord Jesus look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle ‘til morning is nigh.
Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there.
What tremendous memories a song and its lyric can retrieve from hidden secrets that lie deep within each of us. I find myself singing this song when I feel stressed or out of touch with my spiritual self. There is a calm that comes from placing yourself as a child at the feet of ones God.
My favorite Christmas fun song is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This is the first holiday special I remember watching on television when I was little back in the 60’s.
Nowadays, I love to sing this song with my daughter. We’ve been signing it since she was tiny. We always start by singing out the names of the reindeer, that’s her favorite part.
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glowed.
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say,
“Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee,
“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
You’ll go down in history.”
Who doesn’t enjoy this simple story? It’s one of many songs that were turned into television specials for children. Some others include Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. These started out as fun children’s songs for the holiday and became endearing, long lasting holiday television shows. If not for the gifted lyricists, these songs would never have been made into shows.
Do you have a favorite holiday song, poem or story? Do you return to that favorite every year to bring the memories, feelings and images back as part of your celebration?
Feel free to share with me in the comments. I’d love to hear about your favorites. Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanzaa! And a pleasant greeting to all who celebrate in any way at this time of year!