We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Here on the prairies of Canada, midwinter can be very bleak indeed. Remember a local columnist reflecting on her childhood north in the Peace River area, where the earth indeed "stood hard as iron", but the community gathered together for the Christmas concert and this hymn was sung.
Remember also my mother's reminiscences of Christmas concerts when she was a school teacher on the Prairies. The Christmas tree was not an evergreen, but a small deciduous tree (leafless) from the local creek bank. Nevertheless, it was decorated - I suspect the students did paper chains, etc. - and lit. In those days, the tree had candles on holders, with a bucket of water alongside (and, I am certain, a parent next to same). It was a joyous time in the dark of the year.
This is a beautiful song and it's the first I've heard a choir sing it. I first heard the song performed by the wonderful Doyle Dykes on guitar with his daughter Haley singing it accompanied also by her husband on bass.
Haley has a beautiful voice, reminds me a bit of Karen Carpenter.