Oh Hush The Noise, Ye Men of Strife 7


As a seasonal thought, and a reminder that the Christian religion can be a force for good despite its abuse by Bush, Palin and their ilk, I wanted to share with you my favourite carol.

It came upon the midnight clear,

That glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth,

To touch their harps of gold:

“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,

From heaven’s all-gracious King.”

The world in solemn stillness lay,

To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,

With peaceful wings unfurled,

And still their heavenly music floats

O’er all the weary world;

Above its sad and lowly plains,

They bend on hovering wing,

And ever o’er its Babel sounds

The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife

The world has suffered long;

Beneath the angel-strain have rolled

Two thousand years of wrong;

And man, at war with man, hears not

The love-song which they bring;

O hush the noise, ye men of strife,

And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,

Whose forms are bending low,

Who toil along the climbing way

With painful steps and slow,

Look now! for glad and golden hours

come swiftly on the wing.

O rest beside the weary road,

And hear the angels sing!

For lo!, the days are hastening on,

By prophet bards foretold,

When with the ever-circling years

Comes round the age of gold

When peace shall over all the earth

Its ancient splendors fling,

And the whole world give back the song

Which now the angels sing.

It was a poem before it was a carol, and it is worth savouring it as a poem. It is actually American – and interestingly in the US nowadays the great third stanza, which to me sums up the best ideals of the religion in which I was raised, is often omitted.

A week ago the Archbishop of Canterbury also reminded me that there can be much good in his tradition, with his strong comments on the economic crisis. His analogy of an addict returning to his drug, for the proposed government programmes for recovery, was extremely apt in so many ways.

Not the least worrying is the emphasis on reducing interest rates, and in the case of the UK government positively compelling banks in which they have a majority stake to start lending again. As a solution to a problem so evidently caused in large part by a colossal credit bubble, that is crazy. In particular, the desire to prop up the UK housing market is completely misplaced. My cramped, rented flat in Shepherds Bush is “worth” £350,000. There are over a thousand such flats just in Sinclair Road and Sinclair Gardens, and just in my own little corner of Shepherds Bush there are at least ten thousand of them. To buy a £350,000 house, even if you have £100,000 cash for a deposit, you should in rational lending be earning £75,000 a year. But the majority of households in this area have well less than half that income.

Your house is worth half what you thought it was last year. Live with it. Attempts to put patches on a bubble are stupid.


7 thoughts on “Oh Hush The Noise, Ye Men of Strife

  • kathz

    My favourite carol too!

    As for the economic mess, it's so complex and far-reaching that I can't begin to believe the solution will be anything like as simple or painless as the politicians imply. I think the starting point must be for the people of this and every country to protect the vulnerable and to decide what is of value. Surely we're all at risk from the mad encouragement of debt of the past years and the way in which economic growth has been built on most of the population selling treats andl luxuries to one another?

  • mary

    Agree Craig. It's about the only non-Zionist carol in existence.

    Suggest substituting 'bombed' for 'sad' in second verse.

    Happy New Year to you and yours. I am looking forward to Mr Postman arriving with a parcel from Amazon!

  • Richard

    Good call, Craig. It's funny (and also quite sad, I guess) how modern and timely some of these 19th century classics can still seem.

    Earlier this week I was flicking through an old pre-war English anthology someone had given me, and came across Tennyson's "Ring Out Wild Bells". That poem was published in 1850, just one year after Sears composed the poem above. I'd forgotten (or more likely didn't know) how political Tennyson's poem was, eg:

    "Ring out a slowly dying cause,

    And ancient forms of party strife;

    Ring in the nobler modes of life,

    With sweeter manners, purer laws…

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,

    The civic slander and the spite;

    Ring in the love of truth and right,

    Ring in the common love of good.

    Ring out old shapes of foul disease,

    Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

    Ring out the thousand wars of old,

    Ring in the thousand years of peace."

    Kind of shocking that so little seems to have changed 158 years on, but all the more reason to keep up the fight I guess… Merry Christmas Craig! Keep up the good work in 2009.

    Richard

  • adam rush

    let's dispense completely with Parliament

    and Political Parties,have one daily newspaper called Pravda,one TV channel called ZIOTV and one radio station JewTruth ! New Gulags for any foolish enough to challenge the Jewish hegemony and an annual Hannukah message from Big Brother himself Lord Rothschild.Extermination of the poor-no more scroungers ! Yipee.Boy,when it comes to domination,those Jews really know what they're doing.To all of you who believed the "forgery" tale about the Protocols of Zion-YOU WERE WRONG !

    The NIGHTMARE BEGINS.IT'S THE END !!!!

  • Windmill

    Money matters have always seemed to me to be entirely smoke and mirrors, so I wasn't surprised to hear that the Bank of England was asking to be allowed to print money to 'inject' into the economy.

    I was merely puzzled to know how such a thing could be done.

    But if what I read is correct, it seems that they plan on buying government securities etc. using the money they (by 'printing' the necessary symbols) will claim to have in their possession.

    Something like self-certified mortgages ("believe me, I can pay"), I imagine.

    I suppose such a fiddle could be justified by the fact (or claimed fact)

    that 1 to 1.8 trillion has been transmitted from Europe to the U.S. in the form of investments in sub-prime mortgages and the like, and that although the money undoubtedly ended up somewhere, rather than just vanishing into thin air, little or none of it will be coming back.

    Maybe when Obama asks for military help, we should be saying "We gave at the stockbroker's".

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