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Modern Carol

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 17, 2013

Modern Carol

By Mildred Goff

The night is hideous with noise of battle in the east.
Deck the hall with boughs of holly for the Christmas feast.

A million homes are desolate; a million mothers grieve.
God rest you, merry gentlemen, for this is Christmas Eve.

The bombers tear the night apart, their thunder shakes the sky.
Oh, little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!

(1943)



3 Comments »

  1. Not the usual fare for Church magazines–but 1943 wasn’t a normal year. (Was this in the RS Mag?)

    Maybe she moved the comma on purpose, but I think the phrase she quotes in the second stanza should be “God rest you merry, gentlemen.” On the other hand, maybe she was even more bitterly ironic than I’d given her credit for, and meant to suggest that gentlemen in 1943 were merrily engaged in the wholesale slaughter of each other.

    Comment by Mark B. — December 17, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  2. It reminds me of the Simon and Garfunkel recording of “Silent Night” with the radio news audible in the background.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 17, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  3. Pretty stunning, IMO. A very pointed anti-war statement.

    Comment by Kent Larsen — December 17, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

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