Behind the Christmas Carol: Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming
Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming is a Christmas carol of German origin. The carol was originally known as
“Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” which means a rose has sprung up.
The rose in the text is symbolic of the Virgin Mary.
The original hymn had two verses, expressing the prophecy of Isaiah in the first verse and the symbolism in the second verse.
The “hymn makes reference to the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah which in Christian interpretation foretell the Incarnation of Christ, and to the Tree of Jesse, a traditional symbol of the lineage of Jesus.” This makes it a popular song for the Christmas season.
The song first appeared in print in 1599. Various verses and translations have been published throughout the years.
The melody is a by German composer Michael Praetorius to a tune he wrote in 1609.
Theodore Baker translated the carol and published as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” in 1894. His version soon appeared in the Psalter Hymnal and The United Methodist Hymnal.
Modern artists such as Mannheim Steamroller and Sting have recorded the song, maintaining it’s modern popularity. The song also appeared in the films Love Story and The Time Traveler’s Wife.