Are there any GOOD Christmas Carols?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    I guess the cold, drizzly weather yesterday made my mind wander (it was 35 overnight). I use a hymnal for devotions and the words of these great songs lift my spirit.

    Happen to be in the Christmas section - and reading the words I find post-mill and a-mill, along with unitarian drivvel that is really bad.

    Or tripe (God rest ye merry, Gentlemen; We three kings; Little drummer boy).

    How can we teach SOUND DOCTRINE from the pulpit while singing such BAD DOCTRINE in our Christmas music?

    Thoughts -
     
  2. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Can I suggest a Donut Man song? (Rob Evans)

    'Oh the best present of all is JESUS! Oh the best present of all is God's son! Oh the best present of all is from HIM!'
     
  3. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/jrhodes.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,944
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the following Christmas "carols":

    The Birthday of a King
    Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (prophecy)
    Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
    Joy to the World!
    O Come, All Ye Faithful
    O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (more prophecy though)
    O Little Town of Bethlehem
    Once in Royal David's City
    Who is He in Yonder Stall?

    Anything dealing with the three kings is out... Or I would choose "What Child is This". These happen to be my favorites, and a cursory glance over the lyrics suggest they may be accurate. Any others?
     
  4. DanielFive

    DanielFive
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' is the best I can think of.
     
  5. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,074
    Likes Received:
    102
    Agreeing (Gasp!) with Dr. Bob. There's not much about most of the popular Christmas carols that I like. Bad lyrics, bad tunes.

    I do like Angels from the Realms of Glory. And some of the older hymns are really pretty pretty good but are harder to find in the hymnals.

    Easter music is far better; some real rousers there.
     
  6. TheOliveBranch

    TheOliveBranch
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love to listen to "Jesu Bambino", sung solo.

    "I Wonder as I Wander" is a beautiful a capella solo.

    "Thou Didst Leave Thy Thrown".

    I believe these to be sound in doctrine, though I'm not too sure of my third choice.
     
  7. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Me too Joshua! There were 3 gift types, not three kings mentioned! Wise men came from afar.

     
  8. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    I like "Sweet Little Jesus Boy"--my wife and I are gonna try to work it up Acapella for Christmas special!!

    We sang an awesome little short cantata this past Christmas that I'd like to do again--I think it was called "From the Cradle to the Cross" or somethin' like that--I'll look and see when I'm at church tomorrow--we added a tiny bit of drama to it---oh, but the praise and glory filled our hearts!

    Brother David
     
  9. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Blackbird! Jim sings 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy' acapella too! It's so pretty!

    I'm sorry guys! I love Christmas and I love carols. I'll have them going by Nov. 1st day and night. If you don't like the holidays... avoid my house!

    Diane
     
  10. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/jrhodes.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,944
    Likes Received:
    0
    An aside... to Diane... It always bugs me also that we sit the kings in our manger scenes. Hello? Scripture says they came to the house, and I have heard it said that the wise men didn't even arrive until Jesus was almost 2. Then how does that jive with them coming to the manger? Last year, someone asked me why we weren't singing "We Three Kings" and I told them it was not scriptural. You'd have thought I desecrated the manger or something!
     
  11. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    And Mary and Joseph took doves as a sacrificial offering .... because they had not received the Gold, Frankencense and Myrrh yet!

    Yep, Joshua, I saw program at a planetarium that predicted the wise men probably came when Jesus was between 2-4 years old.

    That irks me too. Oh, and ask a child about Zacchaeus! They'll tell you he was about 3 inches tall! I always ask them, 'How did Jesus go into his house if he was that 'wee' little man?' And Goliath! They think he was taller than the church building instead of about 9 foot tall.

    Diane
     
  12. TheOliveBranch

    TheOliveBranch
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about "Good King Wenceslas"? Who was he?
     
  13. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Other than possibly disagreeing that the wise men were kings and that there were only three, what other objections would you all have to "We Three Kings of Orient Are"? To be fair to the author, in his day it was quite common to interpret Psalm 72:10 and a few other passages as referring to these men (see Matthew Henry for an example). Though I don't agree with it, I view this as interpretational matter rather than outright going against what the scripture says (such as putting the wise men at the manger, which this song does not do).

    We three kings of Orient are
    Bearing gifts, we traverse afar,
    Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
    Following yonder star.
    (They were from the east and they did follow the star probably over many types of terrain)

    Refrain:
    O star of wonder, star of light,
    Star with royal beauty bright,
    Westward leading, still proceeding,
    Guide us to thy perfect light.
    (This is framed like a prayer, a wish, a hope, to find that to which the star guides)

    Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
    Gold I bring to crown Him again,
    King forever, ceasing never,
    Over us all to reign.
    (Uses the idea of gold to represent Jesus as King, which He is)

    Frankincense to offer have I;
    Incense owns a Deity nigh;
    Prayer and praising, voices raising,
    Worshipping God on high.
    (Uses the idea of frankincense to represent Jesus as God, which He is)

    Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
    Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    Sealed in the stone cold tomb.
    (Uses the idea of myrrh to represent Jesus as sacrifice, which He is)

    Glorious now behold Him arise;
    King and God and sacrifice;
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    Sounds through the earth and skies.
    (Sums up Jesus as King & God & sacrifice, and adds the idea of resurrection & praise)

    I really can't find much to object to in this song, and the "3 kings problem" can be easily fixed by substituting the words "wise men" in place of "three kings".
     
  14. Pete

    Pete
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ditto to most of Joshua's list [​IMG]

    I agree with Joshua and Diane about numbering the "kings" to 3, and the time of their arrival.

    I also agree with rlvaughn about 'We Three Kings'. A couple of blokes and myself did that song at a Christmas in July a few years back. If the reminder of the symbolism of the gifts brought isn't enough, it tops it all with that even more awesome final verse.

    Halfway through typing this I had to go grab guitar out and have another go at it [​IMG] Em...B7...Em...B7... Roll on Christmas :D

    Pete
     
  15. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    About the time of Daniel (and LaoTzu in China and Buddhain India and Confuscius) the "prophet" Zarathrusta arose in Persia. His followers formed the largest religion of the ancient world - Zoroastrianism.

    They developed calendars based on astronomy (NOT astrology) and observatories, etc. Their priests, called "Magi", made calculations for all life function - feasts, planting, harvest, worship, etc.

    They also gleaned the sacred writings of the Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, et al, for more information to make Zoroastrianism a truly syncretic religion for all mankind.

    THESE are the "wise men" - cultic priests of a pagan religion - who, knowing the writings of Daniel and knowing the Messiah would be born, were looking for astronomical signs.

    And God used the "wrath of man to praise Him" as they brought needed gifts to the dirt-poor couple in Bethlehem for their trip and living in Egypt to escape Herod.

    Wonderful story, but NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS and certainly not to be emmulated as "heroes" in our carols.
     
  16. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0

    You're right. They didn't come to the manger, they came to their house. But I don't lost doctrinal sleep over my nativity scene.

    Yet another good point. In reality, we don't have a clue how many kings/magi/wise dudes there were. We don't even know how many gifts they brought. We only know they brought three TYPES of gifts. But again, I don't lose any doctrinal sleep over it, and I don't have a problem with "We Three Kings" being sung in church. What's important is what they represent.
     
  17. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    0
    O Jesus Christ, all praise to Thee,
    Thou who art pleased a Man to be;
    To dwell with men Thou dost not scorn,
    And angels shout to see Thee born. Alleluia.

    Th'eternal Father's only Son
    Now takes a manger for His throne;
    The everlasting fount of good,
    Assumes our mortal flesh and blood. Alleluia.

    He whom the world can not enclose
    In Mary's bosom doth repose;
    To be a little Child He deigns
    Who all things by Himself sustains. Alleluia

    Th'eternal Light to us descends,
    Its brightness to the earth it lends,
    And purely shines upon our night,
    To make us children of the light. Alleluia.

    The only Son, true God confessed,
    To His own world now comes a Guest;
    And through this vale of tears our Guide,
    Dost in His heav'n our home provide. Alleluia.

    In poorest guise to us He came,
    Himself He bears our sin and shame,
    That, as His heirs in heav'n above,
    We may with angels share His love. Alleluia.

    His love to show, surpassing thought!
    God's Son this wondrous work hath wrought;
    Then let us all unite to raise
    Our song of glad, unceasing praise. Alleluia.

    Source: A German first stanza, probably written in the district of Celle, is dated 1370. . . To this stanza Martin Luther added six more of his own. (Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook)
     
  18. True Blue Tuna

    True Blue Tuna
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0
    </font>[/QUOTE]There's a problem with the chronology, though. There's nothing that says the visit of the Magi occurred at the same time of the Nativity. It could have been up to a couple of years later.

    It's really hard to reconcile all the Christmas traditions that have grown up over the ages, with the historical accounts.
     
  19. True Blue Tuna

    True Blue Tuna
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sorry, but this isn't correct. For several reasons:

    1. The modern estimates for Zoroaster's life are much earlier, and mean that he would not have been a contemporary of Buddha:

    http://www.w-z-o.org/
    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/zoroastrianism/FAQ/
    That's a minor point in the grand scheme of things, however.

    Secondly, the Persians of the ancient world were avid followers of astrology. Zoroastrianism did not abolish astrology; on the contrary, they were known as magicians and astrologers at that time. They were probably the teachers of the Chaldeans, who were known to be expert astrologers. In fact, the word "magi" is the root word for "mage" and "magician".
    http://www.iranchamber.com/culture/articles/astrology_astronomy.php
    You are correct to say that their religion was very powerful and influential.

    Yes. Based upon astrology and astronomy both - in the ancient world, they did not exist as separate disciplines. The idea of astronomy and astrology being different would have made no sense to people living in those times. These were superstitious people, who thought the movements of heavenly bodies could influence the daily lives of people and the events of countries.

    What evidence do you have that Zoroastrians consulted other religious texts when formulating their own code of conduct? If Zoroaster was much earlier than Buddha or Confucius, then obviously his followers couldn't have consulted texts which had not even been written yet. And even if these other religious figures were contemporary with Zoroaster, the evidence for Buddhism is that even three hundred years after Buddha's death, the religion was still confined to the Indian subcontinent.

    What evidence do you have that the Wise Men ever read Daniel?

    [ September 14, 2003, 11:54 PM: Message edited by: True Blue Tuna ]
     

Share This Page

Loading...