On the 5th of December 1830 (85 years ago today) Christina Rossetti, the youngest of the artistic Rossetti family, was born in London.
She wrote the well-known, wintry, Christian lyrics of the carol ‘In The Bleak Mid-Winter.’ The widely-hummed music was composed by Gustav Holst (1874-1934). Holst was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and is most famous for his composition ‘The Planets.’
The words and the melody come together perfectly to form a delicate, soft and slowly journeying hymn. There is nothing too trying for the vocal chords, one could almost read the verses over a log fire with the cold wind locked outside.
‘In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty winds may moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
First verse of ‘In The Bleak Mid-Winter’
It is perhaps appropriate to mention that Christina also wrote a poem entitled: ‘A Birthday’
‘Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.’
There is plenty of singing and rejoicing this time of year; we are deep in the heart of poetry, music and storytelling.
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