08 February 2010

In this bleak midwinter

I have a great fondness for what a friend of mine labled "downer Christmas songs." You know, "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "Carol of the Bells" and the most Downer Christmas Song of them all, "In the Bleak Midwinter."

The only part of it that doesn't work for me is that we sing it (or, more likely, listen to it) in mid-December, which around here is more like "In the Reall Late Autumn."

Our bleak midwinter is actually about now and this midwinter is bleaker than most. We got a big snow on December 18th (24 inches), another on January 30th (about a foot), another on February 2nd (5 inches) and another over this past weekend (another 24 inches).

We are now expecting another 4 to 12 inches before Wednesday evening. The frozen heaps from December haven't yet eroded and we've had more and yet more. I love snow, but we've had enough.

And when someone on the radio described this past week as "snow on snow on snow," I realized that the theme song for me for SnOMG 2010 is the poem written by Christina Rossetti well over a century ago.

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same_Old_Lang_Syne which is arguably part of the genre. --Simon

Anonymous said...

"I love snow, but we've had enough."

Who ARE you, and what have you done with Leta?

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite carols. It manages to be moving without the shift to maudlin so many other carols of the era do too well. And - a not so common feature in a carol - it has good pretty theology. (Hey, what can I say, a friend and I are putting together a forum on theology in Christmas carols and this was the first one I analyzed. But you already knew I was crazy . . . )


Anonymous said...

Love Christina Rossetti...and yes that is the poem for these laden days...