From the day after Thanksgiving until the New Year… Charleston radio station 102.5 plays Christmas music! I love it! However yesterday a recurring Christmas phenomenon in the form of a song…🎵 Hark the Herald Angels Sing eerily was playing every time I got back in the car from running an errand. It happened three times in succession… it took the third recording to register in my ” over-taxed” brain that something odd was going on.
Then when I walked into a local boutique and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” was playing softly there too… I decided this was a different kind of God Wink… go look up the story behind the song.
After re-reading the story a couple of times… the history lesson learned from it… is how important shared creativity is in producing the final version of an initial idea … or song in this case.
It all started with a man named Charles Wesley who wrote the carol in 1739… he had no idea he was providing a foundation for others to come build upon… and/ or how famous the carol would become.
His original first-line lyric was ” Hark, how all the Welkin ring.” ( ” WELKIN” being an archaic English term for ” Heaven.” )
A few years later ( 1753) George Whitefield ( pronounced Wit-field) changed the first line to ” Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and that change has remained forever.
But the tune, itself, over the next 120 years, was sung to various tunes. This all changed when William Cummings connected the revised lyrics with a tune written by Mendelssohn for the Gutenberg Festival in 1840… celebrating the invention of the printing press.
If I had known about the three contributors to the final creation of Hark the Herald Angels Sing…every time it came on I could have thanked a different composer… ” Thanks Charles, Thanks George, and finally Thanks William! ”
So until tomorrow… Today’s story re-iterates that ” No Man is an Island.” We all need each other and should remember one essential spiritual mantra… the best lived and best loved lives belong to those who live for others … who always remember to reach back and pull someone else up the ladder with them.
Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh
When I typed in ” Hark the Herald Angels Sing” … typical ” google ” started taking me all over the place… but one link was a book that grabbed my attention and special memory.
The author, romance novelist ( Fern Michael’s) is a pen name for Mary Kuczkir who lives in Summerville… if I am going to town I pass her home almost daily …hidden behind pines and foliage. Beautiful!
One year , as part of a ” Downtown As a Classroom ” history project.. some friends and I had our students dress up as ” living legend” citizens of Summerville and tell their story in a fairy tale format.
It just so happened that I was teaching Kelly Jennings in my class and she was the famous author’s granddaughter… her grandmother had just recently moved to Summerville. After the stories we had a tea and awards ceremony for each ” living legend” … one of the best endeavors in my teaching career.
One of her grandchildren went to OES and his teacher got invited to a soiree at her home…so exciting…loved the info on the Christmas and I will share it with Clyde …he probably knows because he is a Minister of Education and he majored in Music at Westminister Choir College.
I love your history lessons. Hope you have a happy Christmas! Thank you.
Thank you Beth and I wish you and all your loved ones a beautiful Christmas filled with love and joy!
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