Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas poem: "For unto us is born"

And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
 – Luke 2:10-12
Below are the lyrics to a song I'm working on. The words come almost directly from the Gospel of Luke. I know it doesn't rhyme and even the rhythmic scheme is inconsistent. Still, I think it has a poetic quality.

I became inspired to write it when I was listening to the Gospel reading for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass which was Luke 2:1-14. I happened to be watching the celebration at the National Basilica in Washington on TV while I had my guitar in my hands and was doodling out a melody.

I paused the video recording of the Mass and began to work out the melody and the lyrics, using my Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) Bible as a reference. I searched for words in Luke and would sort of pray and meditate and try them out against a melody I had in mind. Gradually the song emerged. Then I made a rough music recording on my computer and edited a few lines here and there. And here are the resulting lyrics.

I hope you enjoy. And even though I am holding on exclusively to the copyright, I have to give full credit to my co-author, the Holy Spirit. Until I can work out the music and record it, here is a recitation of the lyrics.

For unto us is born
© 2010 PublicVigil

For unto us this day is born
A mighty King to reign among men
In Bethlehem, the city of David
Who is Christ, our Savior
The Lord of Lords

Wrapped in swaddling clothes, inside a manger
Because there was no room, for them in the inn
Oh what great joy, will come to the people
Glory to God in Heaven
On Earth peace among men

And all who heard, of the angel’s appearance
Wondered at the meaning, of what the shepherds saw
But Mary kept these things within her heart
Pondering the message
And the child, her son

On the day that they took him to the Temple
To present the baby to the Lord
Simeon, a devout and righteous man
Blessed their family
And said to Mary

“Behold this child will cause the fall and the rising
Of many souls in Israel
And a sword will pierce through your soul also
And the thoughts of many
Hearts will be revealed”

Joseph and Mary, having completed the sacrifice
Of two young doves, returned to Galilee
To the town of Nazareth, and the child grew in favor
And He became strong
And was filled with the wisdom of God

For unto us this day is born
A mighty King to reign among men
In Bethlehem, the city of David
And His name is Jesus
The Son of the Most High

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE: I removed some commentary about the Christmas Season at the end of this article and moved it a new post of its own. Here's the link: