Who IS This Good King Wenceslas Anyway?

I wrote this right before I got Scott's email with his Christmas carol rant. He wants to hear more religious songs around the holiday, and since I hear about it annually, it was time to share what I get an earful of. I apologize for the late timing of this blog. I was going to delete it and write about our ski trip, but cannot find the stupid cord connecting our camera to the computer to get the photos to go with the story. Ay, Mama!

 I walk around singing this song all the time, not just at Christmas. It's a catchy tune, but I never thought-what in the holy hell am I singing about anyway, as if I even know the words! What is the Feast of Stephen? Who is this goodly king? And by God, they rhyme cruel with fuel- genius! Dear readers, and especially my long lost friend Chris Brown, this is for you.

"Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen. When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even. Brightly shone the moon that night, tho' the frost was cruel, When a poor man came in sight, gath'ring winter fuel."

The music was written 500 years ago. These lyrics- 150 years ago. That's some staying power. Like anyone will be singing Gaga's "Bad Romance" in 2512.

The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907–935), who was considered a martyr after his death. (Thank you Wikipedia).

Wenceslas was a man who went out to give alms to poor peseants on the Feast of Stephen -a Christian saint's day celebrated on the second day of Christmas- December 26-which is also why this is now a carol.

During their journey to help the poor, his servant gets separated and is about to succumb to the cold weather, but manages to keep going by following Wenceslas' footprints, step for step, through the deep snow.

And now you know...

I like to sing this song with the words to "Yankee Doodle". I works. Go sing it for yourself.

Bonus: the next time you belt out Gloria, you're singing: Gloria in excelsis Deo"  which is that dead language, Latin for "Glory to God in the highest".

(PS the Beta Blockers are really working. I have gone from about 80 waves of irregular heartbeats a day to maybe 20- and they are much less severe! So far, so good.)

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