Thursday, December 22, 2016

#409, in which one can hear the falling snow

"Still, Still, Still" is originally an Austrian lullaby. A handful of other Christmas songs are lullabies ("Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night" being two notable examples), and to me, they're very effective at heightening the sense that not only had the Savior come into the world, but that He did so as a newborn, the same way the rest of us entered the world. They're gentle, soothing, and peaceful, which is the way I feel about Christmas.
Still, still, still
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
More so than the other two lullabies I mentioned and wrote about above, this song feels quiet to me. Perhaps you live somewhere where it's either snowed recently or is snowing now, but the idea of hearing falling snow is interesting to me. Rain can be noisy. Hail can be very noisy. Snow is just the opposite--not only does snow make virtually no sound as it falls, but the accumulating snow also ends up dampening other sounds, making the outdoors virtually silent as it comes down. If there was snow falling as the Savior was born, I would imagine it was the same sort of silent. The world was hushed, suggesting reverence at the coming of its Creator.

Snow is more readily associated with winter than with Christmas specifically, I would guess, but I like the association just the same. Everything is quiet and clean as snow falls, and that's fitting as we celebrate the birth of the One who cleansed and purified us. He gave us a fresh start, and that's worthy of a hushed, reverent greeting. 
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come
This last verse isn't as perfectly clear to me, but this could be Easter. Big things were ahead for the Babe of Bethlehem, but maybe nothing so big as His resurrection and ultimate victory over sin and death. Awful things were in store for Him, too, so the injunction of the singer for the Child to sleep on as angels watch Him is a tender one. He spent His every moment thinking of others, but at this vulnerable time, others took that load from Him. Angels watched, but so did shepherds and animals, as well as a loving but no less overwhelmed Mary and Joseph.

I wrote about this when I wrote about "Away in a Manger," but this is a lullaby not only for the baby Jesus, but also for our own troubled souls. It's difficult to sing a song like this and not be comforted yourself. We sing gently and softly in order to soothe an upset child, and in so doing, we can soothe ourselves. It's a gift that can be shared, and in that way, it's not unreasonable, I think, to imagine that as the Savior spent so much of His own life serving and bearing up others that He too was lifted up in spirit by those actions.

Previously in this series

The Friendly Beasts

What Child is This?

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

Coventry Carol

The Holly and the Ivy

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Wexford Carol

I Saw Three Ships

We Three Kings

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

In the Bleak Midwinter

Little Drummer Boy

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