The Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon has come to the conclusion that the traditional carol cannot be sung “without embarrassment”. What we really have is 'blackmail', 'Victorian behaviour control' and misleading words and I suppose he's right! After all, what does a bleak midwinter look like in Bethlehem? Are there really frosty winds blowing and snow falling snow on snow?
These 'naff' songs, "Add to the confusion over the season’s real meaning and turn Jesus into a figure as fictitious as Father Christmas" +Croydon continues ('Why Wish You a Merry Christmas') "Carols encourage images of Christmas that have more to do with Victorian sentiment than the Biblical account of Christ’s birth. They have contributed to the story of Christ’s birth being seen “as just one more story alongside the panto and fairy stories”.
Taking the Bisop's words: "I always find it a slightly bizarre sight when I see parents and grandparents at a nativity play singing Away in a Manger as if it actually related to reality. I can understand the little children being quite taken with the sort of baby of whom it can be said 'no crying he makes’, but how can any adult sing this without embarrassment?”
I can but agree and so, with permission from the focus of Christmas and the reason for the season (Argos), bring to you the 'real carols' just like what Croydon wants us to have.
I present to you (shortly) the 'Croydon' revised Carol Sheet . . . .