A Christmas Song

Why is the baby crying

On this, his special day,

When we have brought him lovely gifts

And laid them in the hay?

He’s crying for the people

Who greet this day with dread

Because somebody dear to them

Is far away or dead,

For all the men and women

Whose love affairs went wrong,

Who try their best at merriment

When Christmas comes along,

For separated parents

Whose turn it is to grieve

While children hang their stockings up

Elsewhere on Christmas Eve,

For everyone whose burden

Carried through the year,

Is heavier at Christmastime,

The season of good cheer.

That’s why the baby’s crying

There in the cattle stall:

He’s crying for all those people.

He’s crying for them all.

Wendy Cope (Sent to me by Loretta Cantwell, after she saw it in The Spectator, 2008


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