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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 Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’

‘’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’: as opening lines go, they must be up there in the top five most famous opening lines from an American poem (something from Emily Dickinson would also have to be in there). ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’, to give the poem its proper title, is perhaps the most famous Christmas poem ever written, too, but the poem’s origins and attribution to a man named Clement Clarke Moore are not as straightforward as they may first appear…

A Visit from St Nicholas

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. 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