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A Short Analysis of the Christmas Carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’

What connects the popular Christmas carol ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and the popular hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’? They both share an origin – but the origins of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ are not as famous as the words. And the words themselves deserve closer analysis…

Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child. Read the rest of this entry

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A Short Analysis of the Christmas Carol ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’

‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’ is one of the most famous Christmas songs in the English language, and unlike many Christmas carols we know who wrote this one: a Poet Laureate, no less. So next time you’re singing ‘while shepherds watched their flocks by night’ (or, depending on company, washed their socks by night), you can bask in the knowledge that you’re taking in a bit of literature.

But what were the origins of this favourite Christmas carol? ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’ deserves closer analysis…

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.

‘Fear not!’ said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind;
‘Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind. Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Christina Rossetti’s ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’

A reading of a classic Christmas poem

‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ is probably Christina Rossetti’s most famous poem, though not the one that’s most recognisable as being a Christina Rossetti poem. Indeed, many who are familiar with it perhaps don’t realise that it is a poem; it’s better-known as a song, or carol, these days. But then that’s appropriate given that Christina Rossetti first published it under the title ‘A Christmas Carol’, and the poem has a songlike quality to it. Here is ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, to which we’ve appended some words of analysis.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry