With the lads of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, I'm singing the "Sussex Carol," also known as "On Christmas Night All Christians Sing." This little choir of less than 30 boys sings so beautifully that they drown out my scratchy, out-of-tune notes, my non-melodic singing.
Again this December footnoteMaven has invited us to Blog Carol. Thank you, fM! Last year was the first time I participated. I hadn't thought about what my favorite carol was; I enjoy all the traditional ones and some of the newer ones. This year I realized that my favorite changes from year to year. The one whose tune dances in my mind or whose lyrics twirl in my brain becomes my favorite.
"The Sussex Carol" may have been composed as early as the late 1600s. Several variations of lyrics have been found. The ones below were collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams probably in the early 1900s. Below the lyrics is a video of the 2008 Choir of King's College singing. That presentation is very good but I enjoy the 1994 Choir video even more because the lads look more angelic, the choir director moves with greater enthusiasm, and there are beautiful views of the cathedral. (Embedding was disabled or I would have included it.) Whichever one you watch, I hope you enjoy.
On Christmas night all Christians sing
To hear the news the angels bring.
News of great joy, news of great mirth,
News of our merciful King's birth.
Then why should men on earth be so sad,
Since our Redeemer made us glad,
When from our sin he set us free,
All for to gain our liberty?
When sin departs before His grace,
Then life and health come in its place.
Angels and men with joy may sing
All for to see the new-born King.
All out of darkness we have light,
Which made the angels sing this night:
"Glory to God and peace to men,
Now and for evermore, Amen!"