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Crazed Country Rebel
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Biblical scholars, history buffs and Sean Hannity listeners, take note.

Oddly enough, understanding the meaning of one of the most misunderstood carols of Christmas also helps explain one of the most misunderstood and misused words describing Christmas. It is a fact that what Americans hear when they listen to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is not anything like what the English peasants meant when they first sang this song more than 500 years ago. Though this is one of the world's favorites, it even earned a prominent spot in Dicken's classic novel A Christmas Carol, if people fully understood its unique lyrics , most would probably find "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" as one of the most profound and meaningful hymns in the world too.
This old carol can be traced back to the 15th century. Like so many early Christmas songs, it was written as direct reaction to the music of the church. During this period the songs of organized religion was usually written in Latin and married to melodies that were somber and dark. This type of music offered singers and listeners little joy and happiness. In fact, though few admitted it in public, most church members secretly disliked most accepted religious songs. Yet the laymen of the time had no power over the way the worshipped. They had to accept things as they were. So, while they continued to go to organized worship services, they created their own church music outside the walls of the cathedrals and chapels. In this way the peasant class led a quiet rebellion against the tone of religious music by writing religious folks songs that were light, lively and penned in common language. Their Christmas folk songs became the foundation of what are now knows as Christmas carols.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was the most famous and most loved of all the early carols. Written with an upbeat melody and speaking of the birth of Jesus in joyful terms, the song may have shocked early church leaders, but it charmed their flocks. Not only did they sing to this carol, they danced to it.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen's" lyrics reveal that the song's unknown writer knew the story of Jesus' birth well. He included the high points of the gospel throughout the carol's verses. The writer also fully understood the power of Christ and what His coming meant to all who embraced it. In the case of this writer, comprehending the full and personal meaning of the birth of the Son of God brought forth enthusiasm and joy that was simply not found in any church songs of the period. Though it might have been rejected by the church leaders, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" better presented the message of the first Christmas and the life of Jesus than did many of the songs used in formal worship of the day.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" would be sung for hundreds of years before finally being published in the nineteenth century. By that time, thanks in part to Queen Victoria's love of carols, the song was beginning to find favor in the Anglican church. Soon the protestant English clergy of the Victorian era were even enthusiastically teaching "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" to their parishioners. Crossing the ocean to both Europe and America, the carol became a favorite throughout the Christian world. It is still sung in much the same as it was five hundred years ago. The only problem is that few of today's singers fully understand the beginning of each of the carol's many verses. This is a result of the evolution of the English language.
When modern people say "Merry" Christmas, the word merry means happy. When "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was written, merry had a very different meaning. Robin Hood's "Merry Men" might have been happy, but the merry that described them meant great and mighty. Thus, in the middle ages a strong army was a merry army, a great singer was a merry singer, and a mighty ruler was a merry ruler.
So when the English carolers of the Victorian era sang, "merry gentlemen," they meant great or mighty men. Ye means you, but even when translated to "God rest you mighty gentlemen," the song still makes very little sense. This is due to another word that has a much different meaning in today's world and a punctuation mark that has been lost.
The word "rest" in "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" simply means keep or make. Yet to completely uncover the final key to solving this mystery of meaning, a comma needs to placed after the word merry. Therefore, in modern English, the first line of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" should read "God make you mighty, gentlemen." Using this translation the old carol suddenly makes perfect sense, as does the most common saying of the holidays, "Merry Christmas."
Even if the song's many singers didn't fully understand "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," the old carol remained popular? The world's love for this song was probably due to to the very reason that it was written in the first place. This an upbeat musical piece that tells the most upbeat story the world has ever known. Those who sing it naturally get caught up in the celebratory mood of the message and embrace the same kind of emotions that those first to visit the baby Jesus must have felt. As the angel told the shepherds, "I bring you news of great joy." That joy and the power of faith can be felt and experienced in every note and word of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." You just have to know how to translate the words into the language of the day to have a very Mighty Christmas!
http://acecollins.com/christmastraditi.html
 

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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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iheartbicycles said:
Biblical scholars, history buffs and Sean Hannity listeners, take note.

http://acecollins.com/christmastraditi.html
Interesting bio on Ace Collins. But what does it have to do with Biblical scholars, history buffs and Sean Hannity listeners? What about Keith Olbermann and the rest of the liberal lunacy? :thumbsup:
 

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Your post was really a sweet sentiment until I followed your signature link to the worst episode of Jaywalking ever. Here's a link to the real deal. Seriously, McCain, Kerry, and even Gore, all lost because they ran poor campaigns.
 
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