Monday, December 21, 2015

The Author Behind 'Good King Wenceslas'

In honor of Christmas, this week at Writer Off the Leash we'll be learning about the authors who wrote some of the carols we still sing today. Kicking off the week, meet James Mason Neale. His most famous carol is Good King Wenceslas, but my favorite of his is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I've always been a sucker for anything written in a minor key.

James was an English vicar and kind of a rabblerouser. He led the Oxford Movement, which basically tried to incorporate Catholic practices into Anglicanism during the early nineteenth century. Yeah. That didn't go over so well. He ticked off his congregation, so much that they accused him of being a secret agent for the Vatican . . . ticked off as in when he was attending a nun's funeral, those people beat the bejeebers out of him. Another time he was stoned, and many times he was threatened to be burned out of of his house.

Let's just say the fella wasn't too popular.

Even so, he was a dang good hymn writer. Grab a mug of tea and ponder of these lyrics from the second stanza of O Come, O Come Emmanual.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


chappydebbie said...

First of all, it's Sunday, not Monday. It might be Monday by the time you see my comment, but for me it's still Sunday evening. You posted early on purpose just to confuse me, didn't you? As punishment for having never watched Sherlock.
Well,no matter the reason, it's an interesting post. Sharing.

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