Monday, December 10, 2007

Who Knew?

As we were getting the song sheets ready for next week's Empty Manger Christmas Caroling outside several local abortion clinics, I learned two things about one of my favorite carols, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.

First, I learned that the title is "God Rest Ye Merry [COMMA] Gentlemen", and not "God Rest Ye [COMMA] Merry Gentlemen".

Heretofore, I'd always thought the carol had only three verses. It actually has seven:


God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ our Saviour (or Remember Christ our Saviour)
Was born upon this day (or Was born on Christmas Day)
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


In Bethlehem, in Jewry, (or "in Israel")
This blessèd Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessèd morn
To which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


From God our Heavenly Father
A blessèd Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
This blessed Babe to find. (or The Son of God to find)

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


But when to Bethlehem they came (or And when they came to Bethlehem)
Whereat this Infant lay, (or Where our dear Saviour lay)
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling, (or His mother Mary kneeling down,)
Unto the Lord did pray.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth efface.

O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy