Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sing Along

The things I end up researching, just to be sure I’ve got something correct and the rabbit holes I vanish down on the Internet while researching. Last week, while researching for my current WIP (work in progress), it was whether or not terrycloth was manufactured in the mid to late 1870s. Yep, it was. Still can’t find a definitive answer as to why it was called “terrycloth” but that will have to be another rabbit hole I scamper down on another day.

While also looking for information for the WIP, I needed to find out which Christmas carols would have been sung at this time. I admit, I liked diving into that rabbit hole. It smelled like pine trees. There were little lights everywhere. And, people were happy. (Okay, so that was my imagination at work.) 

Some of the carols I could guess were around in the late 1870s. However, I don’t like to guess when including historical information so I had to verify my guesses. Carols such as “The First Noel”, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (and, no the comma is not in the wrong place), “The Holly and The Ivy” were all popular during this time. So also is my favorite traditional Christmas carol—“What Child Is This?” I’ve always been perversely amused that my favorite carol is set to the tune of a “crying in your beer” drinking song.

I did learn that in 1867, a book was printed for Christmas carolers entitled Christmas Carols New and Old. This book was reprinted in 1871 with a whole new list of songs and again in 1878 with all new carols. The 1867 and 1871 editions were combined into one. Carols we all probably know very well were included in these books. Many of the carols I love to sing have been around long enough to be used, if necessary in my WIP.

And, yes, there will be a midnight Christmas Eve scene in the WIP. I spent the better part of an hour writing, deleting, rewriting, deleting again, writing AGAIN to get the details correct of this small country church bathed in the muted flickering glow of candle-light, scented with freshly cut pine boughs, while the snow softly falls outside. (I think I just described a Thomas Kinkade painting.)


I also discovered something about the hero in this WIP. Try as he might, he can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

I will leave you with this version of “What Child Is This?” and wish you happiness, peace, and joy. May the blessings of this season be upon you and with you.

What Child is this who, laid to rest

On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
            This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

2. Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

3. So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.


1 comment:

Lisa Nightingale said...

Lynda, I'm so glad you go off down those rabbit holes! Fascinating to read
about the carols they sang, I have the words to all of those. Although, my fave. carol changes with every school Christmas concert I go to!