Good King Wenceslas is just about my personal favourite song at Christmas. If my memory serves me, I believe that one year in school we learned this song for our school Christmas concert. It is the song which tends to hum along in my head as I do errands, or walk outside, during the holiday season.
I believe in my heart I always feel a strong identification with the poor - I know that my father's family were forced off their land, in the time of famine, in Ireland, (The Fitzwilliam Estate) and emigrated from Ireland to Canada, in the middle 1850's, an experience countless Irish tenants experienced. In the past year or so, due to our amazing internet, I've seen the ship's registrar with the names, and ages of my great grandfather's family.
For a well researched, moving, and well written story based on the famine in Ireland, one can read "My Dream of You", by Nuala O'Faolain. The story describes two women's experiences both in contemporary Ireland, and the country during the potato famine.
Hence, perhaps a sad frame of mind I've inherited, but also a tendency to support causes for justice and equality.
I am not sure if Good King Wenceslas was always so charitable, or this was just a moment for him. If you know more of the history, maybe you can share with me. I believe he was not an Irish king, but a duke in Bohemia, but the song has a celtic feel to me.
However, really this is a very pretty song, and so I am choosing to share it today, although St. Stephan's Day is December 26, I believe.