Morning Song – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
The comma carries a lot of weight in “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”. Put it in the wrong place and you completely change the story of the song.
It’s not “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”. The gentlemen aren’t “merry”, or “cheery” or “happy”. Quite the opposite. They’re troubled, anxious, afraid, confused, worried, fearful. Unable to make sense of the signs of the time…but pretty sure the signs are foreboding.
And so the messenger (the biblical word for messenger is angel) delivers a new message which is the old message—the good news of God with us, despite it all and in the midst of it all.
Oscar Peterson was 70 when he laid down this track with his quartet and he captures all the wisdom, sprightliness, joy and good-humored playfulness that’s part of any great revelation.