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Not a Christmas Carol You're Likely to Know --

Posted on Monday, December 25, 2006 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterMarshall Massey in , , , | Comments2 Comments

ew cameo.jpg These were the original words sung to the tune we now call “Adeste fidelis”:

young cedar 

Lord, ‘tis a pleasant
          thing to stand
in gardens planted
          by thine hand;
Let me within thy
          courts be seen,
like a young cedar,
like a young cedar,
like a young cedar,
          fresh and green.


(Photo of young cedar of Lebanon by “javarman3”, uploaded to iStockphoto February 17, 2006.)




This hymn, and the melody it was sung to, were originally published in England in 1782, and first appeared in an American text in 1801.

Joel Cohen, whose Boston Camerata recorded the hymn on the CD An American Christmas in 1993, writes that the melody’s “association with the English-language text we all know (‘O come, all ye faithful’) seems to date from the mid-nineteenth century.”

ew tiny.png

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Reader Comments (2)

Beautiful words indeed, but I can't match the words to the melody without a lot of unnatural slurring:

Lord, 'tis a pleas-ant thi-ing to-oo sta-and,
In gardens planted by-y thi-i-ine hand. etc.

I'll have to listen again to the CD to see how it works.
Dec 27, 2006 at 03:02PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul L
You've got the first line right! But the second goes,

In gar-de-ens pla-a-ante-ed by thine hand

with the two syllables "In gar" sharing the first note.

The CD is splendid -- as you surely know already!
Dec 31, 2006 at 06:48AM | Registered CommenterMarshall Massey

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