Saturday, December 18, 2010
To save our souls from Satan's power
The traditional English carol "God rest ye merry gentlemen" was written in 1760 and is one of the more popular English carols to Filipinos. The carol was again another attempt to recover pre-Reformation themes in an England just recovering from the Civil War (after a century) and the threats to the established Anglican Church. In Commonwealth England, the singing of carols was banned.
The author is not known but the carol was published in a hymnal in 1833 and is referenced in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
Just like the medieval carols, there is a strong reference to the saving power of Christ. Perhaps this is only Christmas carol to mention Satan by name. In our 21st century Christianity, we try to omit reference to Satan as much as possible so not to scare anyone. But we as Christians are really in a long term spiritual battle. The carol brings this truth home at Christmas. But the babe in the manger, powerless as he may appear to be, is already triumphant.
The YouTube video clip is a 21st century Celtic inspired interpretation by Scottish rock singer Annie Lennox from her 2010 CD "A Christmas Cornucopia". In this post-post modern interpretation, Lennox sings the carol entirely and the video surprisingly quite traditional (except maybe that Treebeard look-alike!)