sedens (sedens) wrote,

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Welcome, Sir Christemas!

Sixteenth-century English, according to The New Oxford Book of Carols; the original Oxford Book of Carols claims authorship of the first two verses for Thomas Durfey, after the Restoration. (I'm cherrypicking my favorite verses from both editions here.) The wonderfully jaunty dance tune is probably contemporaryish with the text. More or less.

The Praise of Christmas

All hail to the days that merit more praise
Than all the rest of the year,
And welcome the nights that double delights,
As well for the poor as the peer!
Good fortune attend each merryman's friend
That doth but the best that he may,
Forgetting old wrongs with carols and songs,
To drive the cold winter away.

'Tis ill for a mind to anger inclined
To think of small injuries now;
If wrath be to seek, do not lend her thy cheek,
Nor let her inhabit thy brow.
Cross out of thy books malevolent looks,
Both beauty and youth's decay,
And wholly consort with mirth and with sport,
To drive the cold winter away.

Thus none will allow of solitude now,
But merrily greet the time,
To make it appear of all the whole year
That this is accounted the prime:
December is seen apparell'd in green,
And January, fresh as May,
Comes dancing along with a cup and a song
To drive the cold winter away.

When Christmastide comes in like a bride,
With holly and ivy clad,
Twelve days in the year much mirth and good cheer
In every household is had.
The country guise is then to devise
Some gambols of Christmas play,
Whereat the young men do best that they can
To drive the cold winter away.

And the young women (not to mention the not-so-young women) too, I would say!

I have such dear friends, and they know me so well . . . I just finished opening and squeeing over my presents, and I can't resist putting them here:

* Fancy biscotti and "Friends" specialty coffee blend, from my much-missed friend D. in Colorado
* A collection of homilies by dear Father Jim P. in Colorado, from J. and T. (my former partners in liturgical-music crime)
* Judith Flanders's book Consuming Passions, about Victorian leisure activities, from my mentor and beloved friend G.
* a box full of Japanese goodies from my best buddy R., here in town
* a copy of The Anime Encyclopedia from the department (which really means from our loyal and fabulous admin. assistant K.)
* a goodie bag from loverly Sher with adorable earrings, a crocheted cap, and crocheted flowers for the vinyl and resin girls.

Plus, Claudine got the cutest pair of blue suede boots from thelyn's Ullrich! Luckily, Flynn is much too secure to be inclined toward jealousy . . .

Then there are the presents I gave myself, naughty me: a 55-200mm zoom lens for the camera, and a swift & ball winder for all the skeins of yarn I manage to acquire somehow.

Must get myself organized to make Mom's Pumpkin Pie Squares, because I need to leave by 12:30 for dinner with friends. One last verse, for good measure pressed down and overflowing:

This time of the year is spent in good cheer;
Kind neighbors together meet
To sit by the fire with friendly desire
Each other in love to greet;
Old grudges, forgot, are put in the pot,
All sorrows aside they lay;
The old and the young doth carol his song
To drive the cold winter away.
Tags: carols, dailyblah

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