Carols of Contrast

When I heard Christina Rossetti’s carol for the first time I became intrigued by the idea of how climate affects the carols written within a culture. I have contrasted this with an Australian carol by John Wheeler.  They also explain why barbecues are popular during Christmastime in Australia and not in the UK.

The North Wind is Tossing the Leaves

John Wheeler

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Wombat State Forest

1.
The North Wind is tossing the leaves,
The red dust is over the town,
The sparrows are under the eaves,
And the grass in the paddock is brown;
As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ-Child the Heavenly King.
2.
The tree-ferns in green gullies sway;
The cool stream flows silently by;
The joy bells are greeting the day,
And the chimes are adrift in the sky,
As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ-Child the Heavenly King.

 

In the Bleak Midwinter

Christina Rossetti
1.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

Dorchester near Henley on Thames

Dorchester near Henley on Thames

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
 2.
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.
 3.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
 4.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
 5.
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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