I have mentioned to you before that I grew up in Philly and was blessed to attend a church that had an amazing music program. Our Sunday night “song services” were just amazing. We were known as Fellowship Church – the singing church.
Christmas was always a special time because so much of our tradition was wrapped around music. Much of it was the carols and Christmas songs, but we also learned many secular Christmas songs.
My all-time least favorite Christmas song is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and next in line is “Little Drummer Boy.”
My mind quickly races back to hear Uncle Ray Funk singing Harry Bolbach’s song, “Ring the Bells.”
I can hear Jan Ledwith and Lee Augustin singing John W. Peterson’s “No Room.”
I remember Caryl Shoemaker Bittenbender singing, “Happy Birthday, Gentle Savior” and “Away in the Manger” standing on a chair at the pulpit.
I also remember our youth group going to the Frazer Home to sing carols, and a dear resident lady named Josephine, singing “O Holy Night” in German.
That was over fifty years ago, and the memories are so fresh in my mind.
When I sing through the carols, I laugh because some of them got twisted.
The late Dr. Howard Hendricks, famed Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, was in my mother-in-law’s youth group and taught them a different spin on the carol, “We Three Kings.” I made the mistake of teaching my grandkids those lyrics:
“We three kings of orient are, smoking on a rubber cigar. It was loaded and exploded: Pop goes the weasel. We two kings …”
So what is my favorite Christmas carol? That’s a tough choice, but I love this one written by the son of a preacher. Benjamin Hanby wrote:
Who is He in yonder stall, at whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress, Fasting in the wilderness?
Who is He the people bless for His words of gentleness?
Who is He to whom they bring all the sick and sorrowing?
Who is He that stands and weeps at the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
Who is He the gathering throng greet with loud triumphant song?
Lo! at midnight who is He prays in dark Gethsemane?
Who is He on yonder tree Dies in grief and agony?
Who is He that from the grave come to heal and help and save?
Who is He that from His throne rules through all the world alone?
‘Tis the Lord! O wondrous story! ‘Tis the Lord! The King of glory!
At His feet, we humbly fall, Crown Him! Crown Him, Lord of all!
This carol tells the whole story. I love it. What’s your least favorite Christmas song/carol and why?
Set apart for more,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.