O Come, O Come Emmanuel


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar James Hanley says:

    You’ve picked one of my two favorites, with the other being “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming.” Crowding close behind are “We Three Kings,” “What Child is This,” and “O Holy Night.” Yeah, I’m a sucker for the solemn religious carols, too.Report

  2. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a beautiful tune. It is also not exactly a Christmas tune, but rather one for Advent.

    Most moving Christmas tune for me is “O Holy Night”.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Good King Wenceslas has a warm spot in my heart.

    I also enjoy The Holly and the Ivy though it strikes me as the most ADD carol, like, ever. It changes topics mid-sentence. Still, a lovely yuletide carol.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jaybird says:

      The Holly and the Ivy’s a great tune. My first two children are named Olivia and Ivy, making “The ‘Olly and the Ivy” our favorite Christmas song for a few years. Then we had a third child and couldn’t make it work anymore.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    I’m all about ol’ King Wencelas.Report

  5. Avatar D.A. Ridgely says:

    I hope this won’t ruin your love of the carol, but two years ago as the Obama inauguration grew near, I penned the following:

    O Rahm, O Rahm Emanuel!
    (Positive Liberty | December 21, 2008 | D.A. Ridgely)

    O Rahm, O Rahm Emanuel!
    Come and give jobs to Liberals
    That wait for their appointments here
    Until Barack Obama appears.
    Employed! Employed! Emanuel
    Shall find thee work, oh Liberal!

    O Come, thou Rahm with Jesse’s boy,
    Thy Democratic colleagues to employ.
    After two terms in the wilderness
    It’s time that situation to address.
    Employed! Employed! Emanuel
    Shall find thee work, oh Liberal!

    O Come, thou Chief of Staff and appoint
    On behalf of The One we did anoint.
    Disperse those NeoCons from our sight
    And make some office space for us forthright.
    Employed! Employed! Emanuel
    Shall find thee work, oh Liberal!

    O Come, Barack’s right, no, make that left hand!
    And try now to avoid the witness stand.
    And if you must swear, watch for the press.
    They were your friends, soon they’ll be your distress.
    Employed! Employed! Emanuel
    Shall find thee work, oh Liberal!

    O Rahm, O Rahm Emanuel!
    We want you to know we all think you’re swell.
    We’d like you even better if you
    Would pick some juicy plums for us, too!
    Employed! Employed! Emanuel
    Shall find thee work at last, oh Liberal!


  6. Avatar Aaron says:

    Solemn religious carols? How about Coventry Carol?Report

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    What Child is This. Also God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Don’t know why.

    I tried to make an iTunes collection of Christmas carols a few years back. I wanted all the traditional carols. A lot of them were pretty standard, Mormom-Tabernacle-Choirish performances, but I went with interesting renditions when I found them. I recommend the Barenaked Ladies’ “I Saw Three Ships,” Johnny Cash’s “Silent Night,” Crash Test Dummies “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and Sufjan Stevens “Away in a Manger” and “Joy to the World.” Also a bluegrass instrumental version of the “Carol of the Bells” on an album called Christmas Grass.Report

  8. Avatar ktward says:

    So many precious Christmas memories I have.
    I rely upon our rituals–chief among them, decorating our tree and singing/playing carols–to nudge these memories out of the dustier corners of my mind. The nudging is an evocative, often teary-eyed event for me, through which my now adult kids simply hug me and roll their eyes when they think I’m not looking. (All in all, it’s a sweet deal for me.)

    So it’s kinda difficult to detach the memories and pick a fav.
    But if cornered, I’d have to go with Carol of the Bells, both piano

    and choir versions.

    Close runner-up: any elegant arrangement of O Holy Night.

  9. Avatar Katherine says:

    My best-loved Christmas carol is “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” with the wording used in one of my favorite CDs:

    It came upon a midnight clear
    That glorious song of old
    From angel bending near the earth
    To touch their harps of gold
    “Peace on the earth, good will to men,
    From Heaven’s all-gracious King.”
    The world in solemn stillness lay
    To hear the angels thing.

    Now with the wars of sin and strife
    The world has suffered long
    And ‘neath the angels’ strain has rolled
    Two thousand years of wrong.
    And man at war with man hears not
    The love song angels bring.
    Oh, hush the noise and cease the strife
    To hear the angels sing.

    And lo, the days are hasting on
    By prophet bards foretold
    When with the ever-circling years
    Shall come the age of gold.
    When peace shall over all the earth
    Its ancient splendours fling
    And all the world give back the song
    Which now the angels sing.Report