Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Of Bleak Midwinters and Steamy Kitchens

This is my second entry for this week's challenge, and I can only apologise to Christina Rossetti and, I suppose, Gustav Holst. I hope they aren't turning in their graves.

And I warn you - I warn you - that Father Christmas will not visit anyone who is caught singing this version in lieu of the real thing at any meaningful occasion!

Just in case you are not familiar with In the Bleak Midwinter, here is the proper version. (And if you click on the link after the words, you can hear the tune.)

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Words by Christina Rossetti

If you don't know this carol, here is the tune!

And here's a bleak midwinter picture, to take your mind off what's to come!

For my version, I prefer Gustav Holst's setting, but if you know the carol well, it works for Harold Darke's too.

(You will, no doubt, be glad to know that I have stuck to the rules this time, and kept to 100 words.)

In the steamy kitchen, something’s going wrong,
The turkey smells peculiar, (I bought it for a song).
Brussels sprouts are over-cooked, over-cooked,
In the steamy kitchen, last time I looked.

Chipolatas cindered, cranberries gone bad,
Stuffing so disgusting, it won’t make your heart glad.
Soggy roast potatoes; carrots,  peas and all,
Now the gravy’s lumpy, the bread-sauce a hard ball.

In the steamy kitchen, the pudding’s getting burnt –
Why did you trust my cooking? I thought you would have learnt.
If I were a Wise girl, I would have ordered in,
As now your Christmas dinner, is in the bin!

 I feel it is only right to leave you with the chance to watch the King's College Choristers singing the real version as only they know how!



  1. Oh I prefer your version to the original and may well have to learn it and sing it next time it comes up (probably under my breath though!). Particularly love the brussels sprouts being overcooked, in the steamy kitchen, last time I looked. Love that. Polly

  2. Love it. What a picture this conjures up. Very good indeed :-D

  3. Oh God, order Pizza I say, and enjoy the telly! :) Good work!

  4. GSussex
    Spectacular and so well composed! A post to be truely proud of Anna!

  5. Excellent. I prefer your version too - such a miserable carol anyway so at least we can laugh at yours. I sneakily think that this person messed dinner up so that someone would take her out next year!

  6. As a lover of sprouts I love this! The carol is one of my favourites when it is sung by a full choir. It scans beautifully & despite your warning, I'm not sure I won't be able to get the food out of my mind when I hear it again!!

  7. lol loved this one. But you can't burn the pudding, no no no. x


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