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Free: “In the Bleak Midwinter” Music Appreciation Printable Pack

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Have you ever heard the beautiful song “In the Bleak Midwinter?” It’s one of my favorites! Enjoy today’s 15-Minute Music Lesson and be sure to download the printable pack down below!

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15-Minute Music Lesson on “In the Bleak Midwinter”

Gustav Holst (1874-1934) wrote the music for the song “In the Bleak Midwinter.”  He was a composer from England and was greatly interested in the music of everyday people–folk music.

Listen to his musical arrangement of the beautiful Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” which became part of The English Hymnal of 1906. English poet Rossetti wrote the poem many years earlier for the magazine Scribner’s Monthly. The music Holst set the poem to is a hymn tune called  “Cranham.

The Poem by Rossetti

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,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air –
But only His mother
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.

Listen to Three Versions of “In the Bleak Midwinter”

King’s College Boys Choir


James Taylor



Which do you like better? Why? What’s different and what’s the same about the 3 versions? This would be a good writing prompt to use with your kids!


By the way, if you like this lesson, you will love the self-paced online music course called 15-Minute Music Lessons for Elementary Students. This is one of the fifteen lessons. Enroll now!

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Download the “In the Bleak Midwinter” 6-Page Printable Pack

In this printable pack you’ll find:

a composer notebooking page

2 listening notebooking pages

a drawing page

and 2 copywork pages

Winter Books:

Combine this fun winter lesson with some great winter books! See the list here.

Picture Books for Winter

Winter Nature Study:

Our Journey Westward

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