God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

I wanted to point something out that my family discovered one recent Christmas. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic...

have you ever noticed the position of the comma in the title of the song God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen? The title is not saying "merry gentlemen, may God give you rest", it is actually saying "Gentlemen, may God rest you merrily."

And in the days when this carol was written, the word 'merry' did not just mean 'happy' (or 'slightly drunk' Wink), it actually meant 'strongly' as well (think of Robin Hood and his "merry men")

So I guess the translation of the title into modern english would be something like:May God Give You a Happy and Strengthening Rest

I'm sure many of you are very busy with careers or education (or planning a tour to Australia, Loreena!). whenever you feel stressed, do take a moment to sing the song to yourself and remember these words.

God rest us ALL merry, message board folk! Smiler
Original Post
It is so good that you brought this up, I have been thinking SO MUCH about that comma!! X) Now it makes more sence to me.


Originally posted by Jesse:
Originally posted by izarriel:
Thank you for that explanation. It is interesting. i am no-english speaker, i couldn't noticed or know this.

you'd be surprised how many people who do speak english don't notice!

Add Reply

Likes (0)