Good King Wenceslas

A couple weeks ago, Mary Anne and Twig and I were sitting around and someone started in on Christmas carols, and we ended up going through maybe a dozen of them, looking up lyrics online as needed. Was really nice.

And at some point we got to "Good King Wenceslas," and I just naturally waited for Mary Anne to sing the page verses, and I (being a bass) took the king verses, and then I realized that Mary Anne, being a king, might perhaps be the more appropriate singer for those.

But I don't think it would have occurred to me to split the verses between two voices at all were it not for the fact that my strongest association with the song is The Dark Is Rising.

I just went back and re-read the scene (starts on p. 76 of that edition, though it won't jump to the right page automatically in some browsers; starts on p. 88 of my paperback edition) where Will is singing one of the page's verses, and then time stops, and Merriman steps in and sings the king's verses, and it brought tears to my eyes again. I'm not sure what it is that I find so moving about that scene--there's nothing easily quotable in it, I hadn't remembered most of the details, but it's one of those canonical images of Magic from my childhood, like the lamppost in the snowy wastes.

And even though it's been nearly 20 years since last time I read the book, and nearly 30 since the first time, every time I hear the song or even see it mentioned, I still think of that scene.

One Response to “Good King Wenceslas”

  1. silk_noir

    OMG, Jed, yes. I do too. Thank you for that.


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