#83: Good King Wenceslas: words by John Mason Neale: 1853. Based on the story of King Wenceslas: 10th Century Bohemian Duke.
Image: http://www.prague.eu: Beautiful Prague!
Wenceslas Square is the jewel of the New Town district of Prague. Here stands the monument to King Wenceslas, a 10th Century Duke of Bohemia and patron saint of the Czech Republic. This is the location of many historical events of the Czech people dating back to the foundation of the Square in 1348. For our time, possibly the most significant is the 1989 demonstrations of The Velvet Revolution which brought an end to the Communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia, without even one gunshot being fired. Thus it was a peaceful or velvet revolution. Wenceslas Square is a cultural and business hub and is the natural meeting place for citizens and tourists alike in Prague.
Image: Prague City Tourism: https://www.wenceslassquare.net/st-wenceslas-statue/
But back to our song for today! Good King Wenceslas is an unlikely Christmas song. It says nothing about the new born Christ or the Christmas story; rather it is a story from the 10th Century about a good Christian man who enacted the Christmas spirit of giving and in doing so, found the blessing poured back upon himself.
The lyrics were written by an English hymn writer, John Mason Neale, in 1853 and it is set to a tune from a 13th century Christmas Carol. The lyrics are included below in the clip; the real message is found in the last few lines ;
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
shall yourselves find blessing.
It really is more blessed to give than receive but in our very material and commercial world it is easy to forget this. We will always be holding onto things for ourselves until we realise that all our good blessings come from above. We are given them to be responsible stewards and give back; to protect the poor and the weak. This is Christmas!
2 replies to “The Songs We will Sing.”
Thanks for that! Guess I never listened often, had no idea what the words were saying. Certainly a true message for all ages…
Hi David. Thank you for your comment. Nearly time for Santa. Hope he brings you something wonderful. Enjoy. God Bless. See you in Aus soon???