A Christmas Carol
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth [stood]1 hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
[Snow on snow]2,
In the bleak mid-winter
[Our God,]2 heaven cannot hold Him,
Nor earth sustain,
[Heaven and earth shall flee away]2
When He comes to reign:
[In the bleak mid-winter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty --
Enough for Him whom Cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him whom Angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Angels and Archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and Seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the Beloved
With a kiss.
What can I give [Him]4
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]2 what I can I give Him, --
Give my heart.
M. Trotta sets stanzas 1-2, 5
View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Scribner's Monthly, January 1872
1 Trotta: "grew"
2 omitted by Trotta.
3 Trotta: "Long, long"
4 omitted by Walton?
Submitted by Sharon Krebs
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text),
listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
by Harold Edwin Darke (1888 - 1977)
, "In the bleak midwinter"
by Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934)
, "In the bleak midwinter" [chorus a cappella]
by Leonard J[ordan] Lehrman (b. 1949)
, "What can I give?", op. 145, first performed 2000. [2-part canon with accompaniment]
by (Robert) Bruce Montgomery (1921 - 1978)
, "In the bleak midwinter", published 1948 [SATB chorus, strings, and piano obbligato], from Christ's Birthday
by Michael John Trotta (b. 1978)
, "In the bleak midwinter", published 2010, stanzas 1-2,5 [SATB chorus, piano, and oboe], Colla Voce
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Notes about green, red, and white dots
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