Listen at Christmas: Rossetti and Darke


This version of “In the Bleak Midwinter” is one I became acquainted with years ago at a lovely Christmas singing party. The music is by Harold Darke (1888-1976), with words by the poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). This recording featuring young British boy sopranos makes me a little nostalgic because my last little boy is no longer a soprano. I don’t know how low he will eventually go, but Ninja’s a baritone now.


Here are the lyrics:

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.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim worship night and day,
A breast full of milk, and a manger full of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


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