James Taylor - In The Bleak Midwinter Lyrics

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

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James Taylor In The Bleak Midwinter Comments
  1. - Buehmann

    Great version of this song.

    The only thing is that, if this is accurate, then Christ wasn't born in December, since winter hasn't even begun yet.

  2. some jail nurse don't ask

    My first artist that moved me and has remained the best, that voice.

    Mary Cahill

    Probably May or September. December 25 was a Roman holiday for their Sun god, and this date was appropriated by Christians as the date of Jesus' birth was not known.

  3. harleycharley

    One of the BEST renditions I have heard!!! Wow!

  4. Autoharp Angie


  5. Samster De hamster

    When is this something in the internet☹️
    Now i have a school subject for this song🙄

  6. German Alonso

    Best artist ever.

  7. Bernard Barry

    What a lovely version. Well done James

  8. Bernard Barry

    No one does it quite like him

  9. Pete Z

    I hate this guy, but dang this song is...wait no...I still hate him.

  10. Becca Mahan

    His music warms the Artic cold of Winter as well.

  11. freeline39

    OMG, this guy is a miracle and humble to be thankful he survived some bad times and horrid mistakes

  12. Kansaspeach

    My heart! I give it to HIM every day. ❤❤❤❤❤

  13. Kate Quartano Brown

    This was NOT written by Abbot, Steve; Tilley, Ian, or Neary, Martin. The writer was Christina Rossetti and the setting is a horribly mangled version of the Gustav Holst setting for choir.

  14. Tinkaluisa

    The text was written by Christina Rosetti.

  15. Arthur Kaletzky

    Attribution's wrong. Words are by Christina Rosetti, music by Gustav Holst.

  16. Michael Knight

    I am moved to tears by this song, as the message is true, the musicians are exemplary and the arrangements are flawless.

  17. Morag MacGregor

    Christina _Georgina_ Rossetti. You can't leave that out. It rhymes.

  18. D N

    How lovely and sacred....stills my restless worried heart and makes me feel the truth......i am not alone....i am loved.....i belong to that Christ Child now and forever.

  19. Jacqueline Ganem

    Absolutamente apaixonante explosão de magia 💋🌻🥀😘💋🍹

  20. Jacqueline Ganem

    Lindaaaaaaaa lindíssima sensualíssima enlouquente apaixonante romântica pura magia 👍♥️⭐💋

  21. Jacqueline Ganem

    I love you 🥀🍀💋

  22. averney

    Please correct the information at top - It was written by Christina Rosetti and the music by Gustav Holst - I'm sure this has been pointed out enough times by now!

  23. Susan Mellott Dolan

    I remember another of Rossetti's called Goblin Market.

  24. Preston Garrison

    Christina Rosetti and Gustav Holst, really.

  25. Michael Renzi

    check out Jars of Clay's version. With all due respect a much better version!

  26. Jaime Cruz

    In addition to the Holst melody and the Rosetti (slightly adjusted) lyrics, both of which I love, the chord changes are innovative and give the song a gentle country feel.

  27. Jimmy Johnston

    NOT traditional! Written by Christina Rossetti!

  28. PS Palmer

    NOT an unknown writer: the lyrics are based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904.

    Joe DeLory

    Thanks for posting this correction. I was just going to do the same.

    David Featherstone

    Sounds a bit like the Harold Darke (1888 - 1976) setting inspired the first part of the melody. Done as if James Taylor were singing it, ergo, wonderful.

  29. Anna Poole

    Have always loved this poem and all the Rossetti poems.

  30. Kevin Costley

    What a beautiful song for Christmas, not used nearly enough and heard enough. It's even in lots of church hymnal! No one can sing this song as beautifully as James Taylor.

    Joe DeLory

    James Taylor does a beautiful job of it, so does Susan Boyle. I have heard it sung by several Irish different singers. I don't care much for the version sung by massive choirs, at least not the ones I have heard.


    I disagree... check out Moody Blues rendition, or Susan Boyle's. Both give Glory to God!

    Pat Kirkwold

    Also check out Sarah McLachlan's beautiful version.

    Lez Wagner

    Dan Fogelberg does a great job too


    Listen to Shawn Colvin singing this song on her album Holiday Songs and Lullabies...

  31. Kevin Costley

    I love this artist's gentle singing and particularly this beautiful Christmas arrangment!

  32. Judy Boyce

    The words are by Christina Rossetti, the music is by Gustav Holst.

  33. Rev. Stephen A. Cakouros

    This carol was taken from a poem by Christian Rossetti.


    Christina, not Christian.

    Rev. Stephen A. Cakouros

    bhami: Duly noted but I would say she lived like a Christian.

  34. Mim Hann

    What a Beautiful Christmas song.Thank you , James Taylor for your rendition. I put the CD in tonite and hit "repeat" so I could type out your verses. Now I can sing along with you, So soothing..in the midst of all the craziness!! Thank-You

    Charles Mitchell

    Perfect word for this version - Beautiful and soothing. Then you have the Annie Lennox that is so powerful it's practically unbearable. I have to listen to James after her's and dry my tears. (As I'm doing now )

  35. Brett Selby

    All I can give Him--all He has ever truly wanted--is my heart...

  36. saul roth

    Thank you for sharing

  37. Kaleb Schulz

    So beautiful.

  38. The Creative Process Diet

    That's right -- only my heart will do.

  39. Sally Cakouros

    Rosetti and Taylor--it works.

  40. Wayne Neon

    The music is by Gustav Holst.

  41. kenny maclean

    This poetry by Chrisina Rosetti was my beloved Maggie's favourite. She went far away into The Silent Land in 2006.  With James singing it - what can I say - tears are falling! Guess this Christmas is going to be desperately lonely again. I will love you until the twelfth of Never, Mags.  Gus an tachair sinn a-rithist.Your Coinneach xxx.


    I wish you a blessed Christmas, Coinneach.  I'm so sorry your Maggie's no longer with you though I'm sure you find comfort in your memories.  Hard time of year for so many folk.

    kenny maclean

    Hi Liz - Yes, I take much comfort in many wonderful memories. She was beautiful, a brilliant designer, wonderful ballet dancer. like me, adored Country music, so we had the best of everything. One of my favourite quotes is "What we treasure most is but lent to us", which is so very true, and I believe she'll be waiting for me at Heaven's gate. Thank you for your blessing - may I wish you the same.

    Nancy Benefiel

    love is never lost. It simply changes

    Joe DeLory

    Tá mé ag sheoladh grá agat agus beannacht. Dia deontas tú tsíocháin.

  42. hollisterpatricia

    In the Bleak Midwinter was written by Christina Rossetti in 1872. Christina Rossetti was the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti; they belonged to a group of artists and poets who are known as the Pre-Raphaelites. Christina Rossetti also wrote the poem "Love came Down at Christmas", which was set to music and is in the Episcopal Hymnal.

    Rev. Stephen A. Cakouros

    Her poem and hymn None Other Lamb is also wonderful.


    @Steve Cakouros thank you, I'll look for that poem and hymn.

  43. Patricia de la Bretonne

    thank you James. <3

  44. Loretta Huddleston, OSF

    He never goes out of style, a true classic.

  45. madjack1950

    My favourite Xmas tune, by my favourite artist!

  46. Ruth Malone

    James Taylor is such a wonderful singer! I love this song!!! 

  47. Wren Thwaite

    Sweet James, a voice companion  through so many travels, views of the sea, winter storms, wood stoves, great coffee and writing to faraway, to beyond a western range~~

  48. Noberto Nagamy

    love you James,amor do Brazil

  49. Gloria Stephenson

    Love, firm belief in the Lord, and smiles -  Makes the bleakness beautiful.

  50. Brian James

    Will always LOVE me my JT Yo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. GleeGirlSherylMessenger

    JT sings Xmas way better than Dylan! I've been a fan of JT's since I was really little b/c my Dad would sing JT to me when I was really young. I love him! You rock JT!!! Hope to see you in DC someday!! :) <3

  52. HolisticPhil

    My god this song kicks my ass.  The man can wrench a tear from me so easily.

  53. Judi Harbin

    Welcome, all wonders in one sight!
    Eternity shut in a span
    Summer in winter.  Day in night.
    Heaven in earth, and God in man.
    Great little one!  Whose all‑embracing birth
    Lifts earth to heaven.  Stoops heaven to earth  

    Terry Beaton

    That's very beautiful.

  54. ExtremeReviewer101

    I so too. In fact, on the first day, I kept thinking of all the 100 children who would suicide themselves in Japan and not giving in the real love behind the lies of death.

  55. Noe Berengena

    When a person is spiritually in tune with the higher level of existence, synchronicity appears with greater frequency. I really believe this, based on my own experiences.

  56. Ashley Rawr

    -.- My Grandmother told me to turn on this song............. I'd MUCH rather be listening to Sleeping With Sirens or Of Mice & Men..........But whatever, i'll deal with it xD

  57. hollisterpatricia

    I love Christina Rossetti's poetry.I read Rossetti's poem Love Came Down At Christmas in an Episcopal Hymnal years ago; it was on the opposite page of the song we were singing in church that morning. I wondered what the song would sound like ( I don't know how to read music) Next night I woke up at about 2 a.m. went downstairs to watch t.v. and there on a repeat of the Jay Leno Show ( repeat of that night's show) was a young lady singing the very same poem It was "Love Came own At Christmas"

  58. hollisterpatricia

    almost? I love this song i;t seems so very timeless; I'm glad to read that it's loved by others also.

  59. Tom Gavin

    From the first time till now, this very simple song and Taylor's mastery of the music has captivated me. It is truly my favorite Christmas carol.

  60. LordeNews x

    Singing this in choir for the Christmas concert. I like his rendition of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"... it's my favorite... this is nice too. :)

  61. hollisterpatricia

    I love Christina Rossetti's poetry! Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood also. I was fortunate enough to have visited London and looked at such beautiful paintings! James Taylor sings this so wonderfully.

  62. ExtremeReviewer101

    This song almost gave me tears in my eyes. =.' )

  63. ExtremeReviewer101

    1 dislike, NONsense.

  64. Noe Berengena

    The lyrics were written even before the music. They are based on a poem written by Christina Rossetti before 1872. It was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904 and became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Holst.

  65. Jim Tedder

    Best Christmas music of all time!

  66. nutcracker2007

    he provided the sound track to so much of my life.

  67. Rhonda Marie

    Absolutely beautiful...best version of this song by far. I love the words of the last verse !!

  68. Hunt Richardson

    such a humble man with talent in spades. he's been my favorite recording artist since I first heard him in 1971.

  69. Lanae Ronchetti

    Best version I've heard of this tune - brought tears to my eyes. God bless James Taylor and thanks for sharing this video!

  70. Dana Flaherty

    Glad it's not just me.......

  71. tritone12

    slammin'. really under the radar this tune.

    James sings it so great. this tune is a keeper.

  72. Ron Belanger

    What a great Song. Thank you.

  73. Peggy91193

    Beautiful song, beautifully sung!

  74. Kerryman

    my wife just reminded me that i like to play this song in the summer when it's about 90. it moves me to tears. i can't help myself.

  75. Shawn Romias

    James Taylor is one of the best singer/song writers of all time. His voice always brings me peace, even when he makes me cry. His story telling is perfection. Thanks for posting this song.

  76. chewjfsh

    My further research found Christina Rosetti as being the original lyricist. Nice version also by Julie Andrews.

  77. chewjfsh

    From an old classic composed by English composer, Gustav Holst (famous for his Planets Suite). Not sure who put lyrics to this original instrumental, would not be surprised it's JT. But check out a beautiful and haunting instrumental version by Norwegian trumpeter, Tine Thing Helseth in the Tube.

  78. Mary Demerjian

    I adore this song and especially love this version. XO James Taylor!

  79. Shana Lewis

    I've never heard this song before until I bought the James Taylor Christmas album. I love this version. I've been listening to JT since I was a baby.

  80. Alf Knutsen

    So simple. So musical. So absolutely perfect! I love this version.

  81. bekindunlimited

    God bless James Taylor what a voice ..must be the most distinctive in the world.....James has been a friend of mine all my life ...he has given so much to the world ...a truly great great artist

  82. bedsitsongbird33

    love this song it is truley stunning