Seldom Heard Christmas Music

Merry Christmas, everyone! What follows is a selection of some of the Christmas music I’ve been listening to this year. Don’t get me wrong, even a hipster like me can enjoy a little “All I Want for Christmas…,” by Mariah Carrie. But, let’s get real, you don’t read a libertarianish blog for that! Let the obscurity begin!!!

First off, how in the world did I just discover this group? Nowell Sing We Clear. They are so new to me that I had to look them up on Wikipedia to confirm that they really are called that and really do almost exclusively sing Christmas music. Let me boil it down for you. If Hobbits sang Christmas music, this is how they’d do it. As far as I know, these actually are Hobbit songs! If you don’t have Spotify, I’ll include a Youtube playlist. We start with their eighth album, because it includes the absolutely amazing, “Chariots,” lyrics down below.

Just, wow, to these lyrics!

O Shepherd, O shepherd come leave off your piping
Come listen come learn come hear what I say
For now is the time that has long been forespoken
For now is the time there’ll be new tunes to play
For soon there comes one who brings a new music
Of sweetness and clarity none can compare
So open your heart for heavenly harmony
Here on this hill will be filling the air

Chorus (after each verse):
With chariots of Cherubim chanting
And Seraphim singing Hosanna
And a choir of Archangels a-caroling come
Hallelujah Hallelu
All the angels a-trumpeting glory
In praise of the Prince of Peace

See on yon stable the starlight is shimmering
And glimmering and glistening and glowing with glee
In Bethlehem blest this baby of bliss will be
Born here before you as bold as can be
And you’ll be the first to hear the new symphony
Songs full of gladness and glory and light
So learn your tunes well and play your pipes proudly
For the Prince of Paradise plays here tonight

Bring your sheep bleating to this happy meeting
To hear how the lamb with the lion shall lie
It’s mooing and braying you’ll hear the song saying
The humble and lowly will be the most high
Let the horn of the herdsman be heard up in heaven
For the gates are flung open for all who come near
And the simplest of souls shall sing to infinity
Lift up and listen and you shall hear

The warmonger’s charger will thunder for freedom
The gun-maker’s furnace will dwindle and die
And muskets and sabers and swords shall be sundered
Surrendered to the sound that is sweeping the sky
And the shoes of the mighty shall dance to new measures
And the jackboots of generals shall jangle no more
As sister and brother and father and mother
Agree with each other the end to all war

As a candle can conquer the demons of darkness
As a flame can keep frost from the deepest of cold
So a song can give hope in the depths of all danger
And a line of pure melody soar in your soul
So sing your songs well and sing your songs sweetly
And swear that your singing it never shall cease
So the clatter of battle and drums of disaster
Be drowned in the sound of the pipes of peace

John Kirkpatrick et al sang his song Chariots in 1998 on their Fellside CD Wassail!

Just look up “Nowell Sing We Clear” on any streaming source to hear more.

Here’s my own ridiculously diverse Christmas playlist! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

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