Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Star of the East

Jenny posted her thoughts about this song questioning the theology of same. It really got me to thinking about some of the old songs/carols we sing so often. I realize that sometimes the poetry kind of takes precedence over accuracy. So I am posting the lyrics here to let us see for ourselves.
         Star of the East, Oh Bethlehem's star
Guiding us on to Heaven afar!
Sorrow and grief and lulled by thy light,
Thou hope of each mortal, in death's lonely night!

Fearless and tranquil, we look up to Thee!
Knowing thou beam'st thro' eternity!
Help us to follow where Thou still dost guide,
Pilgrims of earth so wide.

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,
Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.

Star of the East, undimmed by each cloud,
What tho' the storms of grief gather loud?
Faithful and pure thy rays beam to save,
Still bright o'er the cradle, and bright o'er the grave!

Smiles of a Saviour are mirror'd in Thee!
Glimpses of Heav'n in thy light we see!
Guide us still onward to that blessed shore,
After earth's toil is o'er!

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,
Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.

Oh star that leads to God above!
Whose rays are peace and joy and love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased,

           We sang this old carol a couple of times while caroling last week.  Our song leader led it in a fairly quick tempo and it suddenly became quite nice for a change. I have heard this song plowed almost into the ground, which calls for undo portions of lung space and effort.
           Do the lyrics make ecclesiastical sense? Well, it's poetic poetry, true.  But considering the seeking of the wise men as an example to us might make the lyrics mean something after-all.
           I'm sad that nobody ever sings the "additional ending" as it is dubbed in Zion's Praises.

6 comments:

  1. It must have something to do with Eastern Religions I guess:) Seriously, I've always wondered at all the songs about "the star". Some of them seem fine, and others (like this one) seem to give it some extra significance or meaning and sound almost as if the star is as important as the birth it illuminated. Just my opinion. ~GB

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  2. Nu 24:17
    I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

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  3. Uh, I didn't even know that verse existed. Thanks, Charlotte. Interesting.

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  4. I guess that give it a biblical precedent then, huh? I still can't say the song is any favorite of mine, but I can see what the author is saying, I think.

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  5. Gabe, I always thought that the writer of that poem was talking about Jesus not some star sittin' in outer space.If you read it thinking that way it makes it sound alot nicer I think.

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  6. Just now saw the commments...and Larry Showalter used it for the text at Jerrel Goods funeral. Guess I always kinda thought the star meant Jesus too...but then it does say smiles of a Savior are mirrored in thee...so don't know!

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