Have you ever realized you have no clue as to the meaning of a song you’ve been listening to for years? Or a scripture you’ve read over and over that never actually clicked until the 100th time? That was me with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” a 279-year-old Christmas song I’ve always loved for its uplifting, celebratory, and classic Christmas-y feel, but never understood. Till now.
One would think, me, a Christmas Eve baby, a.k.a. that annoying person playing Christmas music way before Thanksgiving, would know all the season’s carols like the back of my hand. Turns out, not so much when it comes to the oldies. As a kid, I thought Herald was the name of one of the angels or something. To be fair, the song was written in super Old English that no one under the age of 279 could understand. And while beautifully poetic, it’s just plain confusing. But now that I’m an “adult,” I’ve realized there’s a big wonderful message about light, hope, and life I’ve been missing all along.