Monday, 28 December 2015

Aunty Pippa's Christmas Carols

I am sometimes overwhelmed by my own inattentiveness. I must have looked at the authors' index in the University Carol Book (ed Erik Routley, see posts passim) many times, but only the other day did I notice that as well as my Mother's carols (see here and here), there were two by her sister.

That sister is my late aunt Pippa, pictured here (attentive readers will remember that I have referred to this picture in a previous post...)

So here they are.

The Sun in the Morning (Sung to a Sussex folk tune)

O I sing of a simple stable in an inn-yard so small
Where the oxen and the asses they are watching by a stall,
Where lies the maiden Mary by a manger of hay
And the sun in the morning shall rise on Christmas day.

And I sing of some shepherd watching o’er their sheep by night
When there came an angel to tell them all clothèd in light.
Glad tidings of great joy did he unto them say
And the sun in the morning shall rise on Christmas day.

And I sing of God’s love to his own created earth,
As for us poor men of sin was his own Son given birth,
Let us all sing and rejoice in his love and be gay,
For the sun in the morning shall rise on Christmas day.

Shepherds Are Singing (sung to the tune Hirtenlied)

Shepherds are singing, laughing and dancing round.
Sheep bells are ringing, flowers cover the ground.
Birds sing and twitter gaily round the little hill,
Yet the snows glitter, winter wraps all the land still.

‘Tell me your story, wondrous things that have been. 
All the land hoary here, tho’ the spring is green.’ 
Bitter the night was as we watched our sleeping sheep,
Sudden the light was, banishing darkness deep.

‘Standing before us, saw we an angel bright, 
Shining and glorious filled with heavenly light.
God in his pity for the sin-enslavèd earth
Hath in yon city come to redeem by his birth.

More and more straightway angels in countless throng,
From heaven’s gateway sang their glorious song. 
With fear unladen ran we leaving our sheep, 
There lay the maiden, there the babe asleep.

‘Naught brought we for him, nothing but loving heart,
There to adore him, then in great glee to depart. 
God in a stable! God and man in flesh made one!
So were we able new times to see begun.

Singing his glory, laughing homeward we came. 
This is our story, Praise to Jesus’ name.
So we are singing, dancing on this little hill,
And our hearts ringing with glad tidings still.


I conclude that she was not such a gifted lyricist as her big sister (but I may be biased).

And let not the idea of nepotism even cross your mind!

Remember her in your prayers. Requiescat in pace.

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