Archive for December 2017

Last verses: A richt guid what? -- "Auld Lang Syne"

Last verses: A richt guid what? -- "Auld Lang Syne"
After days and weeks of contemplating the last verses of various hymns and Christmas carols, there’s really only one choice when it comes to New Year’s Eve. All the world over, as midnight nears, people will gather and sing just one song, “Auld Lang Syne.”‘ But outside of Scotland, birthplace of “Auld Lang Syne” author... Read more »

Christmas eve in my imagination's Writers' Room

Christmas eve in my imagination's Writers' Room
Charles Dickens was there, to begin with. “I didn’t think Margaret would allow me in here,” Dickens told Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the chairman of the committee of writers in my imagination, when they met in the Writers’ Room of my mind. “She will,” said Sir Arthur. “But only at Christmas, mind you! Otherwise, you... Read more »

Last verses: Hear the Christmas angels -- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Last verses: Hear the Christmas angels -- "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
Whether you sing, play or hear it to a tune called St. Louis, as many in Chicago may be startled to learn that we do, or a tune called Forest Green, which is more popular outside of this country, chances are you hear or contribute to some version of the Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”... Read more »
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Last verses: Ancient splendors -- "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"

Last verses: Ancient splendors -- "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"
The Christmas carol “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” written in the mid-1800s, isn’t referring to itself when its first verse mentions “that glorious song of old.” But like the other hymns in this series, its last verse doesn’t get out enough. Let’s take a look. It’s a quiet piece of music, not the sort... Read more »

Last verses: All the dear children -- "Away in a Manger"

Last verses: All the dear children -- "Away in a Manger"
My interest in the last verses of Christmas carols goes back to the day after Christmas 1980. At the time, U.S. diplomats had been held hostage in Iran for more than a year, since Nov. 4, 1979. Only two women remained among the 52 diplomats being held — and on Dec. 26, 1980, one of... Read more »

Last verses: All peoples -- "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

Last verses: All peoples -- "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
I hear many different answers to the question “When do you know it’s Christmas?” or “When does Christmastime start for you?” For me, it starts with Advent, the Serious time when the church looks at the state of God’s world and remembers what it must have been like — what it IS like — to... Read more »
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Last verses: Alleluia chorus -- "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"

Last verses: Alleluia chorus -- "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"
Everything seems to speed up as Advent, the church season preceding Christmas, arrives. So much to do! So much to hear! So much to read! Serious help has arrived: I’ve found a last verse which will do for those of you who can’t wait through 43 other marvelous pieces of music by Handel to reach... Read more »