Poe never heard them like this

December 16, 2010

Carol of the Bells is actually the one Christmas song that I prefer done as an instrumental as opposed to hearing the words.  Mannheim Steamroller’s version is my favorite.  TSO does it a couple of different ways, they’re both spectacular.  George Winston does it on piano; on guitar, I like John Tesh’s arrangement, as well as John Williams.  My own version still needs a lot of work.

Having said that, the reason I like it is because of the JOY that jumps out of the melody.  Carol of the Bells was composed by the Ukrainian  composer Mykola Leontovych in the early 20th century.    I don’t know if Myko was a believer or not, he wrote the song as part of a song writing assignment, and he based it on a pagan tune.  I wonder if he knew how it would be used to draw people to God.

Hark how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say
Throw cares away

Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold
Ding dong ding
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling

One seems to hear
Words of good cheer
From everywhere
Filling the air

Oh how they pound
Raising the sound
O’er hill and dale
Telling their tale

Gaily they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On on they send
On without end
Their joyful tone to every home
Dong ding dong ding

One thing I’m reminded of when I think of Myko, and wonder about his faith – God can use anything for his glory.  He can take the composition of a pagan or the ramblings of a priest, and turn them into something that shines His light.  If he can do that with anything, think of what he can do with something created and dedicated to his cause.

Ding dong!

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