A quick listen will tell you that the song is Celtic in origin, and in fact, was originally titled "Carúl Loch Garman" in Irish. I'm not familiar with many Irish Christmas carols, so this was a treat to discover. Thanks to those of you that suggested it.
I typically include most of the lyrics to these songs here in the post, but this one is so lengthy that I'm just going to link them here. Suffice it to say, though, that the message of this song is much more all-encompassing than anything we've discussed to this point. The lyrics start with the Babe born in Bethlehem, but also discuss the journey from Nazareth, the inability of Mary and Joseph to find lodging, the animals in the manger, the herald angels appearing to the shepherds, and the visit of the Magi some years later. With the exception of Herod, this song touches on pretty much every aspect of the Christmas story as recorded in the New Testament.
So what do I have to discuss with you, when I have virtually everything to choose from? Well, while this song is rich in description of the Nativity, it goes a little beyond that with the lovely lines below:
Within a manger he was laid"Who came on earth to end all strife." We often hear people complaining about the stress of the holiday season, but this song reminds us that the Savior came to take those things from us. He took upon Himself our sins, yes, but also our weaknesses and infirmities so that he can lift us up during times of, well, strife. He suffered to redeem us, but also, if I'm understanding correctly, so He can understand what it's like to have to prepare Christmas Eve dinner for seventeen while relatives argue about politics. His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and He's eager and willing to take our pain on Himself, if only we will let Him.
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife.
So we let Him, or at least, we sing about the fact that He's willing to do that for us. We remember who He is and what He has done for us, and we remember not only His birth, but also His life and what it meant. It's a nice little song, and the simple, easy to play melody helps it stay in your head so you can keep the message around a little longer.
Previously in this series
I Saw Three Ships
We Three Kings
Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
In the Bleak Midwinter
Little Drummer Boy