"God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" is among the many carols with cryptic meaning and origins. It's a 16th century English tune that has evoked commentaries about the lyricists' commentary on the state of the Church in England, warrior soldiers, uninspiring worship music, bar culture and punctuation.
The word merry is open to interpretation: Does it mean "happy" or does it mean "mighty." Depending on your take, the gentlemen could be barflies partying all night, or warriors preparing for battle.
There's also room for spoken interpretation based upon punctuation. Move the comma around. How does the title change with the comma after ye (as above), after merry; or with merry set off by commas?
We like it because the opening line struck us as the start of a powerful actor's monologue in the classical, Shakespearean tradition that, in script form, propels action. So much so that our writing of #CarolStory began when we spoke the lyrics and began improvising a scene. We were also struck how the song introduces the Gospel of Christ right away...even if in a bar.
We're thankful to our daughter for introducing us to the #Pentatonix and our sister Vanetta Pinn for unearthing this version.
#CarolStoryKIT #ChristmasCarols #Song
The KIT 'n' Kaboodle Blog
The essays here are culled from our travels, conversations, worship experiences and discoveries.
Many are reprints from our newsletter, The KIT 'n' Kaboodle, or Facebook notes over time.
They're written by our ensemble, Garlan Garner, Michael Edgar Myers or Vikki J. Myers -- solo, or collectively.