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Christmas Carols are Lullabies to My Ears

By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Sometimes I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and other nights it’s a bit of a struggle. Last night, even though I was tired, I was having trouble with the drifting off phase — until I had an idea.

I selected my “Christmas” playlist on my iPod, and lo and behold, it did the trick. I was asleep in no time. I liked listening to the songs because they embody hope and optimism and after not hearing them for a year, they were fresh to my ears. I’m listening to more carols now while I write this post.

You are never too old to enjoy a lullaby

Lullabies are soothing songs that are sung to send children of all ages to the land of nod. They have been around since the days of yore and before and can be found in every corner of the earth, from ancient times to modern. The tunes are simple, melodious and comforting.

It’s in the science

Studies show that listening to music that you like can help you fall asleep faster. Not only does the music lower your heart rate — which can be escalating during this hectic season — it can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels. It has been shown that once your brain registers pleasing sounds, it responds by sending out instructions to the rest of your body to calm down. As a result, your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure become more even and your muscles relax. Meanwhile, your brain waves will gradually shift to slower, more sleep-inducing rhythms. And you get a little endorphin boost in the process.

‘Tis the season for Christmas carols

Because of their tone, lyrics and melody, some Christmas carols can be considered lullabies. Have you ever noticed that Christmas carols often talk about “night,” “rest,” and “peace?” Christmas is about the birth of the baby Jesus after all.

Here are the lyrics from some of my favourite, classic Christmas carols.

Away in a Manger

First published in 1885.

Away in a manger,
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing,
The poor Baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky,
And stay by my side,
Until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray.

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

This carol was written by American, Edmund Sears and first published in 1849.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold.
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

O Holy Night

A carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem Minuit, chrétiens, or Midnight, Christians, written by Placide Cappeau.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night , O Holy Night, O night divine
O night , O Holy Night, O night divine.

Silent Night

The original German lyrics for Stille Nacht were written by Austrian priest, Father Josef Mohr with the melody composed by Franz Haver Gruber. The English translation was published by John Freeman Young in 1859.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child,
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born!
Christ, the Saviour is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

I hope everybody has a wonderful month of December and Christmas season this year. And if you’re having trouble sleeping, try listening to some Christmas lullabies.

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