Making Merry Word on the Week 18th December 2021.
“‘Tis the Season to be jolly” a line from the well-known Christmas Carol with a not so well known “Tiocfaidh ár lá” insertion got ex-president of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams into a spot of bother this week. It was his own composition but it was the inclusion of the infamous line “They haven’t gone away you know” which awakened ghosts from the past!
Gerry had borrowed the classic Christmas carol called Deck the Halls, written by Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant in 1862, and put his own words to it. He has a reasonable singing voice and it was a pity he didn’t stick with the original words.
The verse continues with; – Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Fill the mead cup, drain the barrel, Fa etc. Troul the ancient Christmas carol. The ‘Deck the Halls’ is simply to put up the decorations. ‘Troul’ means to sing lustily.
‘Fill the mead cup, drain the barrel’ is a strange one. We always bottled the mead in July and sealed the bottle with yeast. It remained undisturbed till Christmas when the mead became part of the Christmas dinner. How they sealed a barrel of mead is a mystery!
The song was also sung at the New Year. It contains the verse, ‘Fast away the old year passes, Fa etc. Hail the new, ye lads and lasses!’ words not so surprising considering they were written by a Scot with a fondness for that time of year!
Isaiah wrote about the joy of their harvest festival – You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest. A successful harvest meant plenty of food till the next harvest time – a major reason for rejoicing! Then comes the great joy of God’s child: – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. The son always existed and was gifted to save us!
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Then comes the picture of the Kingdom of God.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Chapter 9 verses 3 & 6/7)
A promise which gives real and lasting Joy. This is the fruit of the Spirit. May it be with us who know and love the Saviour now and forever.