What Christmas carols are really celebratingBreaking News
tags: Christmas, Christmas carols
Southeastern Louisiana University communications professor Joseph Burns researched the history of Christmas carols thoroughly for a presentation he made recently at the university’s annual Fanfare festival, a fall celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Burns said many people can get the wrong idea by going solely according to the title or lyrics. For example, in “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” he singles out the comma placement.
“It has nothing to do with happy, merry men. It was first published in the mid-1700s and is referenced in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ ” said Burns, who produces the weekly radio show “Rock School” on the university’s station, KSLU-FM. “The word ‘merry’ means strong or mighty, as in ‘merry old England,’ and the word ‘rest’ means to keep or make. So the title translates to ‘God keep you mighty, gentlemen,’ and refers to the lamplighters and additional men hired to patrol during the holidays.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Robert Dallek: “The fish rots from the head”
- It’s Been 3 Decades Since There Were So Few Jobs for History Ph.D.s
- Former Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks returns to campus as a member of the history department
- Conservatives attack Garry Wills’s book on the Quran
- The Scholars Behind the Quest for Reparations