Hungarian Christmas Carol Therapy

It has been bothering me for years now that talk of Christmas – in the media but sadly, also in the church – has become completely devoid of meaning.  This year I have found an antidote: Hungarian Christmas carols I have brought back from Budapest. To be precise:  Christmas carols from baroque Hungary. To be even more precise: Christmas carols from baroque Hungarian Transylvania. In terms of music they are your typical baroque Christmas carols, half traditional folk music, idyllic, pastoral, accompanied by bells, gentle and moving.  In terms of lyrics – well, they are Hungarian Christmas carols. The lyrics were not included with the record so I have to rely on my ear. But all that my ear perceives is a stream of mysterious sounds. Although a few words can be discerned:

Isten = God
Ember = Man
Király = King
Máriábol = of Maria
Bethlehemben = in Bethlehem
Pásztorok = Shepherds

And that is sufficient. That is the only thing that matters. All the other talk of Christmas we are inundated with can be perceived simply as a stream of meaningless sounds.



Translation: Julia Sherwood