Friday, December 18, 2009


One of my favorite Advent carols is "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Its Latin lyrics date to the 9th century, its melody to the 13th. The familiar English lyrics we sing today were composed by John M. Neale in 1850, and the tune adapted and harmonized by Thomas Helmore in 1854. Here it's sung by Loreena McKennitt:

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lowly exile here
Until the Son of God appear


Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave


O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight


O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
and close the path to misery


O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height
In ancient times did’st give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe


What impressions do you get from this, with its origins in plainchant? Start writing~~Fairweather

p.s.  My thanks to Fairweather for taking over this week as I have been semi out of commission until next week .... Jamie


maryt/theteach said...

I'm sorry I clicked Mr. Linky before my post is up but I was overcome by the gorgeous chanting. When I was young I belong to a Gregorian chant group and loved every minute of singing. I'll get my post up ASAP. Also I took 4 years of Latin in high school, Jamie! Hope you're feeling better...

Tom Bailey said...

I like music like this just before going to sleep it is very relaxing thank you very much for sharing this.

Kindest regards,
Tom Bailey

Jamie said...

I'll do one on Monday as this actually stirred up a book recommendation that will take a great deal of thought.

maryt/theteach said...

Mine is up now, Jamie! :)

amatamari© said...

Magnificent listening tonight that now seems less dark ...