Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Christmas Song Lyrics You Never Knew

I'm feeling a bit under-the-weather today, so instead of a post about how to use some JavaScript technology or how to make a paper frog I'd like to help you with your Christmas songs.

Jingle Bells


I would have to suspect that you have never seen more than the first verse of this song. Few people know the rest of it.

Here are the complete lyrics:
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!
(chorus)
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh. 
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot. 
(repeat chorus) 
A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow,
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away. 
(repeat chorus) 
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead. 
(repeat chorus)
The rest of the song isn't quite as catchy as that first verse, huh?

Good King Wenceslas


Now I'll share the words to one my favorite Christmas songs that isn't really even a Christmas song. Of course I'm talking about "Good King Wenceslas." You hear the music to this song all the time but rarely does anyone sing the words. It's not technically a Christmas song if you pay attention to the first line: "Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen." The Feast of Stephen takes place on December 26th, but I guess that's close enough. Also worthy of note, Wenceslas wasn't ever even a king in his lifetime - the title was bestowed on him after this death. Here are the words:
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
I don't understand why more people don't sing the words. I've always liked them.

Amphibian.com comic for 10 December 2014