Our Christmas Carol Contest has slowed way down today, so let me try to give it a jump.
On This Day Earth Shall Ring was first sung in the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer’s time, when it had Latin lyrics and was called Personent Hodie. Here we have it sung by the St. Malachy College Choir in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Turn up the volume for this one! You’ll be glad you did.
I didn’t know what this was going to be, but then I heard the first few bars and realized that we have this carol in English as On This Day Earth Shall Win. The creche is still up, across the street, and I’m still posting Christmas music.
Personent Hodie was published in Finland in 1582, but the melody is found in a German hymnal from 1360. Joan of Arc, Henry V, Richard II haven’t been born yet. But Jesus Christ has.
Performed the old-fashioned way by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band.
This is one of our older Christmas carols, On This Day Earth Shall Ring: lyrics published in 1582, and the melody has been traced by into the 1300s in Finland. Performed here by St. Malachy’s College Choir, Belfast.
Turn up the volume and open the window–this poor world needs Christmas!
This carol was first performed sometime around 1360, and it’s still with us today. In fact, we sang this in seventh grade as part of our school’s Christmas concert. This was before we learned that a single atheist killjoy can veto a whole community’s Christmas celebration. But we do show signs of waking from that troubled slumber: I pray it may be so.
Now I have to run off to the nursing home, and I hope to have received some hymn requests from among my vast host of readers by the time I get back.
All right, it’s a Christmas carol and it’s very, very old–circa 1360. Turn up the volume, listen to it, let it give glory to God… and here’s the story.
God and Satan are playing poker. Having looked at his hand, Satan bets everything he has.
And God says, “All right. I’ll see your world government, your self-anointed experts, your secret police, your corrupt court system, your Global Warming, and all the rest of it. I’ll see you that, and raise you a baby in a manger.”
And Satan folds, busted, finished, done.
Let’s start getting into the mood for Christmas–not to make it an idol, certainly not as some kind of generic “happy holiday” whose name we must not mention: but as our glorious proclamation of the incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ as an historical fact–a thing that really happened.
I love this hymn. Our junior high school band used to do a fine rendition of it. Like everyone else in my home room, I was drafted into the school choir willy-nilly–just as my voice was changing, too–but I dearly loved to listen to the band practice this melody.
On this day Earth shall ring–amen!