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Advent-of-the-Sun Calendar: Day 20

in Music, Wheel of the Year, Yule

On the twentieth day of Advent, my true love sent to me . . . 

"In Praise of Christmas," one of the most beautiful Yule carols ever written, with revised lyrics by Helen Farias.

My friend Helen, founder of the Beltane Papers back in the early 80's and creator of the original Lucia parties, had a knack for revising lyrics to beloved melodies.  I first heard this song from her before Loreena McKennitt recorded her own well-known version.  Here is a video of Loreena's version (hauntingly beautiful).  Here are the songsheet and traditional lyrics.  And if you'd like to learn the song to sing for your own revels, here are Helen's revised lyrics.  Blessed be.  (Photo of an island maple taken by me a few winters ago.)

"To Drive the Cold Winter Away" (or, "In Praise of Christmas")

Melody: 17th century English traditional

Lyrics by Helen Farias

When Christmas’s tide comes in like a bride,

With holly and ivy clad,

Her candles aglow, her mantle of snow,

Shall make our weary hearts glad.

Your door open wide to call her inside

To brighten the gloomy day.

Our wassail is blest, our carols are best

To drive the cold winter away.

This time of the year is spent in good cheer

And friends together do meet 

To sit by the fire, with magic conspire

To make their holidays sweet.

The Lady and Lord with circle and ward

Will bid the good spirits stay,

And at our behest they’ll banish the rest

To drive the cold winter away.

So these are the days we joyfully praise,

Despite the darkening year.

We trust that the Light that shines in the night

Dispels all sorrow and fear.

The stars in the sky that sparkle on high

And here comes the Good Dame, plum pudding aflame

To drive the cold winter away.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .