Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Day 2008

This actually came to mind because of Martin Sheen's rendition, used to close the final "Prairie Home Companion" show of 2007. I couldn't link to his version, but I could link to this one. This lyrics in this version are not the original, but actually by Pete Seeger:

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, thought far off hymn
That hails the new creation
Above the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What through the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
What through the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of Heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
[these lyrics are found on http://www.songlyrics.com]
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?
Seemed a lovely way to start the year. Well, that, and this Celtic blessing:

God, bless to me the new day,
Never vouchsafed to me before;
It is to bless Thine own presence
Thou hast given me this time, O God.

Bless Thou to me mine eye,
May mine eye bless all it sees;
I will bless my neighbour,
May my neighbour bless me.

God, give me a clean heart,
Let me not from sight of Thine eye;
Bless to me my children and my wife,
And bless to me my means and my cattle.

This poem was repeated the first thing on the first day of the year. It was common throughout the Highlands and Islands. The writer has heard versions of it in many places.--Alexander Carmichael

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