our musical advent calendar, day 02

Inspired by Pinterest, Anna wanted to do an advent calendar. And inspired by Advent Conspiracy, she wanted to make it about presence, not presents. Ian had a brilliant idea to use music. We each picked out some of our favorite Christmas songs and will be counting down with festive tunes.

day 02. "Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming" - Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas

Humans and elves alike select Christmas music in one of two ways: 1) via the artist method, and 2) via the song/theme method. "Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming" is, I do believe, my all time favorite Christmas hymn, making it my quintessential choice via method 2.

I first heard this song at church, sometime during my elementary school years, on what was most assuredly a chilly night made warmer by Swiss Miss hot chocolate. I remember two particular things about hearing the song on that occasion. The first was the fervor with which my mother sang the song (which she knew very well). If you know my mom (or are my mom) you know that she (you) can belt it. The second was the captivating time signatures and gorgeously asymetric melody and harmonies. As a lover of most all things music, this second fact keeps me coming back to this song as the very first one I listen to every Christmas season. I'm currently in a Sufjan Stevens phase, hence the chosen arrangement. Bon apetit!
— Ian

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as those of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
when half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
and so then we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind.
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Savior,
when half spent was the night.

musical advent