Lo, how a rose is thriving

The last few lines for this year, before we enter the next.

If you are familiar with German, English or Scandinavian Christmas music, you may know the hymn Lo, how a rose is blooming (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen). You can read more about it on Wikipedia, but the short version is that it keeps thriving after more than 400 years.

The melody is very simple and therefore lends itself to so many different interpretations. I see a similarity with design, where one simple shape can be used in different ways, to express different things.

Two years ago, I went looking for different performances of this hymn and started collecting them in a playlist. I thought it was just a short “Christmas fling”, but every time I come back to this tune, it stays with me. I remain enchanted.

First printed in the 1599 Speyer Hymnal

Whether you prefer traditional church choir with an organ or chamber music, instrumental or vocal, gospel, folk, jazz or any other genre, I am pretty sure you can find a version to your liking. This hymn has hidden possibilities, and if you are curious to hear some of them, be my guest and explore my Lo, how a rose playlist on Spotify. Play it in the background and see how long it takes before you or others find it repetitive (I don’t!).

We will soon enter 2023 (or it just comes to us, depending on how you see it). I wish you peace, joy and confidence in the coming year!


4 thoughts on “Lo, how a rose is thriving

  1. I love this song….have loved it for so many years…haven’t heard it in a long time. The first version really got to me. I’m half German and for years, I did not favor that side. Then I traveled to the EU and met relatives in Germany and German blogging friends. I came away with a deeper appreciation of my German heritage. This version brought it back again. I see that the King’s Singers is a British group (naturally!) but I guess they chose to sing this song in German. Beautiful.
    It’s a nice wormhole that you went down and I’ll listen to more!
    Best wishes for your holidays and for 2023. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad that this song resonates with you! It definitely sounds like the perfect song to reconnect with your German roots. I find it a very calm and neutral song, in itself. The way the King’s Singers perform it is how I imagine that it used to sound hundreds of years ago (but of course, little do we know for sure about that).
      I have been surprised how many different variations I have found, even when I hold back on “traditional” performances and mainly pick ones that I think add something new or different.
      Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope you’ll find some favourites in the list, in whatever language or musical style.
      I wish you and your near and dear ones all the best for 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

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