It’s a snow day, so we need a song about snow. There are lots of choices, of course — “Marshmallow World” and “Let It Snow,” for example. If you want to avoid religious content in your Christmas music, snow is a great topic.

But there is a nice subgenre of Christmas music that has brought us a lot of nice tunes: the V ictorian winter carols. It is of course unlikely that Jesus was born in snow, but the Victorians liked the idea and wrote a lot of pretty stuff, including “See Amid the Winter Snow.” Edward Caswell and John Goss are the guys responsible for this pretty song.  You can sing it as a stately hymn with a choir, but nowadays you can also find lots of recordings like this one, with a a sprightly beat.

In fact, you can find the bizarre claim online that this song was written by Annie Lennox. Not so. Here are the words of the song:

See amid the winter’s snow
Born for us on earth below
See the tender Lamb appears
Promised from eternal years

Hail, thou ever blessed morn
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn
Sing through all Jerusalem
Christ is born in Bethlehem

Say, ye holy shepherds, say
What your joyful news today
Wherefore have ye left your sheep
On the lonely mountain steep?

Hail, thou ever blessed morn
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn
Sing through all Jerusalem
Christ is born in Bethlehem

Sacred infant, all divine
What a tender love was thine
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this

Hail, thou ever blessed morn
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn
Sing through all Jerusalem
Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hail, thou ever blessed morn
Hail, redemption’s happy dawn
Sing through all Jerusalem
Christ is born in Bethlehem

These words were written in 1851 by Edward Caswell. John Goss wrote the tune, “Humility,” and the piece became popular after it was published in an anthology in 1871. Goss, an organist, received a knighthood the following year, though there may be no connection. Caswell converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before writing this hymn, and again there may be no connection.

The world is still and white this morning where I live. I am happy to see snow because we had been expecting ice. However, I had also been expecting to teach a class, do a training, and attend a concert for the reception following which I baked three dozen cookies. The cookies are in the freezer, so there’s no harm done there, but I don’t think I’ll be doing any of those things.

Instead, it will be a writing day. I like that, and we have food and toilet paper in the house, so I have no complaints.