I should have seen this coming. The most inconvenient thing about the Spotify app (the inability to play albums or playlists straight through without paying for Premium) has now becomes the most inconvenient thing about the desktop version. It’s not a design flaw, of course. It’s just one of the sticks they use to prod you into forking over your money.
As someone who likes to listen to albums all the way through, I find this extremely frustrating. It’s not that it’s unfair—what’s unfair is how much music I have gotten to listen to over the years without paying for it. Still, I imagine that, from now on, I’ll simply listen to albums on Youtube, where more and more artists are putting their music.
Here’s me, huffing and puffing, sprinting to catch up with a rapidly diminished Advent season. This album of Swedish Christmas music has enough goodness to count for the whole third week of the season. So, here you go.
Peace be to you and grace from him Who freed us from our sins Who loved us all and shed his blood That we might saved be sing Holy, Holy to our Lord The Lord, Almighty God Who was, and is, and is to come Sing Holy, Holy Lord Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell within Rejoice on earth, ye saints below For Christ is coming, is coming soon For Christ is coming soon E’en so Lord Jesus, quickly come And night shall be no more They need no light nor lamp nor sun For Christ will be their All!
Methinks I see an heav’nly host, Of angels on the wing! Methinks I hear their cheerful notes, So merrily they sing, So merrily they sing. Let all your fears be banish’d hence, Glad tidings I proclaim; For there’s a savior born today, And Jesus is His name, And Jesus is his name.
Lord! and shall angels have their songs And men no tunes to raise? O may we lose these useless tongues When they forget to praise! ‘Glory to God that reigns above, That pitied us forlorn!’ We join to sing our Maker’s love, For there’s a Saviour born.
Many Christmas carols draw inspiration from winter. I think this works well with what might be called folk carols, like “Good King Wenceslas,” but there aren’t very many wintry Christmas hymns that make good sacred music. But there are some exceptions…
Many Christmas carols tell a story, usually the story of the nativity. I like this one because it starts in the Garden with the fall of man before moving to the Incarnation. The version I chose is fairly simple, which is probably the way to go when singing any song that tells a story.
1. The Lord at first did Adam make Out of the dust and clay, And in his nostrils breathed life, E’en as the Scriptures day. And then in Eden’s Paradise He placed him to dwell, That he within it should remain To dress and keep it well.
[Chorus]. Now let good Christians all begin An holy life to live, And to rejoice and merry be, For this is Christmas Eve.
2. And then within the garden he Commanded was to stay, And unto him in commandment These words the Lord did say: The fruit which in the garden grows To thee shall be for meet, Except the tree in the midst thereof, Of which thou shalt not east. [Chorus].
3. For in the day that thou shalt eat, Or do it them come nigh; For if that thou doth eat thereof Then surely thou shalt die. But Adam he did take no heed Unto that only thing, But did transgress God’s holy law, And so was wrapt in sin. [Chorus].
4. Now mark the goodness of the Lord Which he for mankind bore, His mercy soon he did extend, Lost man for to restore; And then for to redeem our souls From death and hellish thrall, He said his own dear son should be The Saviour of us all. [Chorus].
5. Which promise now is brought to pass, Christians, believe it well; And by the coming of God’s dear Son We are redeemed from thrall. Then if we truly do believe, And do the thing aright; Then by his merits we at last Shall live in Heaven bright. [Chorus].
6. Now for the blessings we enjoy, Which are from Heaven above, Let us renounce all wickedness And live in perfect love. Then shall we do Christ’s own command, Ev’n his own written word, And when we die in Heaven shall Enjoy our living Lord. [Chorus].
7. And now the tide is nigh at hand, Int’ which our Saviour came; Let us rejoice, and merry be, In keeping of the same. Let’s feed the poor and hungry souls, And such as do it crave; Then when we die, in Heaven sure, Our reward we shall have. [Chorus].