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December 16

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Foggier yet, and colder. Piercing, searching, biting cold. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit's nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose. The owner of one scant young nose, gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs, stooped down at Scrooge's keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of
"God bless you, merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!"
Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action, that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.

Downloads: mp3

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

Performed by Greg Barlow on banjo and Liddy Barlow on tin whistle

Words and music: Traditional English carol

God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay.
For Jesus Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day,
To save us all from Satan's power,
When we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name.


"Fear not," then said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Savior,
Of virtue, power, and might;
So frequently to vanquish all,
The friends of Satan quite";


The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a feeding,
In tempest, storm, and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway,
This blessed babe to find.


Now when they came to Bethlehem,
Where our sweet Savior lay,
They found him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay,
The blessed Virgin kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.


With sudden joy and gladness,
The shepherds were beguiled,
To see the Babe of Israel,
Before His mother mild,
On them with joy and cheerfulness,
Rejoice each mother's child.


Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
Like we true loving brethren,
Each other to embrace,
For the merry time of Christmas,
Is drawing on a pace.


God bless the ruler of this house,
And send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas
May live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred,
That live both far and near.

And God send you a happy New Year, happy New Year;
And God send you a happy New Year.

Sources and more information