Here’s a gift. This song. Based on a poem by Robert Bridges, lyrics adapted and music by Lee Holdridge, recorded by John Denver in 1979. This is probably my favorite Christmas song ever, along with O Come O Come Immanuel. It almost always brings tears to my eyes.
So here ’tis — my way to wish everyone a joyous Christmas, Hannukhah, or Yule. The light is coming for us all, so let’s celebrate.
Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913
A frosty Christmas Eve, when the stars where shining,
I traveled forth alone, where westward falls the hill.
And for many, many a village, in the darkness of the valley,
distant music reached me, peals of bells were ringing.
Then sped my thoughts to olden times, to that first of Christmases
when shepherds who were watching heard music in the fields.
And they sat there and they marveled, and they knew they could not tell
whether it were angels or the bright stars a-singing.
But to me heard afar, it was starry music,
the singing of the angels, the comfort of our Lord.
Words of old that come a-traveling, by the riches of the times,
and I softly listened, as I stood upon the hill.