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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A (Very) Few Christmas Songs for Joseph

A friend and colleague of mine asked a wonderful question yesterday: she asked me if I know any Christmas songs / carols about Joseph.  And this is striking.

There are countless thousands of songs about the Virgin Mary, about the shepherds, the wise men, the angels, and the star.  There are songs about the animals and the children who came to visit. But there are relatively few Christmas songs and carols about good St. Joseph.

I dug through my memory and through the books of Christmas music that I have on my shelves and found a few:

There is the French: Joseph Est Bien Marié  (Joseph Married Well)

And the German: Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine

The Portuguese: José Embala O Menino (Joseph Rocks the Little Boy)

Joseph gets the third verse… half of the third verse, actually, of The Snow Lay on the Ground:

He’s mentioned again (but briefly) in the French song: Noël Nouvelet:

Though the Catalonian carol El Rei Herodes is titled after King Herod, the song focuses on Joseph:

Joseph gets several verses of the Venezuelan carol: La Jornada:

The Mexican carol, En El Nombre del Cielo (In the Name of Heaven) is a conversation between Joseph and the Innkeeper (who, you might remember isn’t actually in the story.)

And of course, there is the strange but wonderful Cherry Tree Carol, which has an emotionally wounded Joseph telling Mary to let the boy’s real father pick cherries for her. It’s based on a story from the Gospel of Psuedo-Matthew.

There are probably more – but not many.  Have I missed any? Share them in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. This one talks about Joseph briefly (as well as Mary and cousin John):

    Thanks for the Advent backgrounds. That's how I found your blog. We're a new church plant, low budget, no Photoshop - appreciate all the resources we can get. :)


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