Merry Poetry Friday Christmas!

Happy Poetry Friday, and Merry Christmas! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

2015 holiday card

I’m sharing a favorite old Christmas song today. When I was growing up, this was one that my mom played on the piano, and that we sometimes did during our family Advent Sunday night celebrations. We were not a particularly religious family, but our Advent “talent shows” are one of my favorite memories. These lyrics touch me, not just for the story they tell, but for their celebration of working together, of humility, of animals playing such an important role in our world. This song just makes me content. I hope you enjoy it.


The Friendly Beasts

Jesus our brother kind and good
Was humbly born in a stable of wood
And the friendly beasts around him stood
Jesus our brother kind and good

“I” said the donkey shaggy and brown
I carried his mother up hill and down
I carried him safely to Bethlehem town
“I” said the donkey shaggy and brown

And “I” said the cow all white and red
I gave him my manger for a bed
I gave him my hay for to pillow his head
“I” said the cow all white and red

“I” said the sheep with a curly horn
I have him my wool for his blanket warm
And he wore my coat on that Christmas morn
“I” said the sheep with a curly horn

“I” said the dove from the rafters high
Cooed him to sleep that he should not cry
We cooed him to sleep my love and I
“I” said the dove from the rafters high

And “I” said the camel all yellow and black
Over the desert upon my back
I brought him a gift in the wise men’s pack
“I” said the camel all yellow and black

Thus every beast remembering it well
In the stable dark was so proud to tell
Of the gifts that they gave Emmanuel
The gifts that they gave Emmanuel

–traditional English carol
If you want to hear this beautiful song, you might try this Garth Brooks version (with many guest artists). It’s the one on my “Salas Family Christmas CD” that Randy made years ago, where we each got to choose a couple of favorites for a family compilation.

The always-thoughtful Irene Latham has the Poetry Friday Roundup today over at Live Your Poem today. Enjoy, now or when you need a little respite from the holiday fun:>)

16 Responses

    1. Merry Christmas, Linda! Thanks for always being present with an encouraging, kind word. What a gift of enthusiasm you give:>)

  1. Merry Christmas, Laura. Thanks for all the wonderful poetic gifts you give freely all year long. This Christmas song was sung by the kindergarten class every year at the school’s annual Christmas pageant. That means we had three daughters memorize it and sing it around the house. Fond memories, indeed.

    1. Merry Christmas, Margaret! Oh, how I miss the preschool/elementary school holiday shows. I may have to go pull out some photo albums later today:) I don’t think our kids ever sang this song in one, but seeing children sing this would be just adorable. Kindergartners pretty much ARE friendly beasts–hehe.Thanks for being part of my online family!

  2. Merry Christmas, Laura! How have I never heard this song before? Thank you for sharing the link. Listening as I type. 🙂 Sending you some warm Southern air this Christmas morn! xo

    1. Merry Christmas, Irene–and take back that southern warmth, girl! I want the white stuff:>) We did get a couple of inches of snow on Boxing Day, finally. Hope you had a wonderful, beautiful Christmas!

  3. I remember singing this song as a little girl at church Christmas pageants, but haven’t heard it for many years and had kind of forgotten it. Thank you. Perfect for today!

  4. Merry Christmas, Laura! Singing Christmas carols has always been a big part of our traditions, too. I haven’t thought of this song in many years. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    1. Merry Christmas, Catherine–I hope you had a joyful Christmas, and that 2016 brings only excellent health and peace for everyone you love.

  5. You’ve brought back a great memory with this song, Laura. I remember singing when I was about 6 & 7, in our little country church choir, led by our angelic choir director, Miss Edna Peterman. Hadn’t heard or thought of it in ages.

    Appreciations + Merry Christmas time to Advent! + HNY 2016.

  6. Merry Merry Christmas to you too! I hope that your week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a beautiful one full of peace and goodness. I, too, love this poem, and we have a beautiful picture book version of it with such bright and bold illustrations. I now long to find it. Thank you for being part of my book family too — what a perfect way to say it. xo

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