December 10, 2002

Cradle Hymn/Christmas Lullaby

Manager Ann has decided unilaterally that the Army of One will sing a new favorite Christmas song before the assembled congregation at the special Christmas service next Sunday night. Though there was some agitation and near-mutiny among the ranks, er, rank ... in the end, mine is but to do or die.

I have rounded up some verses to add to the ones Doc Watson sings on the Sugar Plums (Sugarhill) album on which we first heard this 'Christmas Lullaby'. The lyrics (about 12 verses) to what was called originally "Cradle Hymn" were written by Isaac Watts (who also wrote Joy to the World) in the early 1700's. He also wrote a tune, but not the haunting minor-major version that Doc sings.

I have recorded and uploaded a snippet of the song to send along with the lyrics to a buddy of mine in Boone, NC. He sings out and about with some other folks, and they all happen also to go to the same Presbyterian church where they lead music worship. I like the words and the simple melody. I think he will like it, and you may also. I think it is especially meaningful when you contemplate the lyrics in light of your own small child or grandchild this holy season.

So, since I have uploaded it for him, I would offer the opportunity for you to listen to the mp3 file waiting here. I have included the obedient soldier Fred, mercifully, singing only the last verse, file is about 495K.

HUSH! my dear, lie still and slumber, Holy angels guard thy bed! Heavenly blessings without number Gently falling on thy head.

How much better thou'rt attended
Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven He descended
And became a child like thee!

Was there nothing but a manger
Cursd sinners could afford
To receive the heavenly stranger?
Did they thus affront their Lord?

See the kinder shepherds round Him,
Telling wonders from the sky!
Where they sought Him, there they found Him,
With His Virgin mother by.

See the lovely babe a-dressing;
Lovely infant, how He smiled!
When He wept, the mother's blessing
Soothed and hush'd the holy child.

May'st thou live to know and fear Him,
Trust and love Him all thy days; 50
Then go dwell for ever near Him,
See His face, and sing His praise!

Posted by fred1st at December 10, 2002 09:03 AM
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