Yesterdays’ post of songs from Spain, Catalonia, and Mexico gave me an idea to highlight beloved Christmas songs that come from different countries. Today we have two carols from Ireland. This year, while clicking backwards on my FamilySearch.org profile, I discovered that my family has Irish ancestors — ancestors that escaped the potato famine of the 1840s no less. I have some reading and study to do for 2019 to learn more about Ireland.
Don Oiche Ud I mBeithil by the Chieftains featuring Burgess Meredith. Yes, that Burgess Meredith, the Penguin from the 1960s Batman TV show, and of course The Chieftains are a great traditional Irish folk music band. But I love this song because of the narration in English, and then the song following in Gaelic. It tells the story of Christmas with beautiful simplicity.
I sing of a night in Bethlehem
A night as bright as dawn
I sing of that night in Bethlehem
The night the Word was born
The skies are glowing gaily
The earth in white is dressed
See Jesus in the cradle
Drink deep in His mother’s breast
And there on a lonely hillside
The shepherds bow down in fear
When the heavens open brightly
And God’s message rings out so clear
Glory now to the Father
In all the heavens high
And peace to His friends on earth below
Is all the angels cry
The Wexford Carol by Alison Krauss feat. Yo-yo Ma on the cello. This song originated in the 12th Century in County Wexford from the town of Enniscorthy. Traditionally it’s sung by men, but in the last few years, women have begun to sing and record it. I love the invitation that the first phrase extends, “Good people all, this Christmas time, consider well, and bear in mind what our good God, for us hath done, in sending His beloved Son.” Consider the good God has done for us, in sending Jesus Christ.