29 November 2009

The Season of Advent (Week One)

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point a grammatically superior chorus was changed to one less effective...

The hymn: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

The chorus (as I learned it):

Rejoice, rejoice, O Israel
To you shall come Emmanuel.

The chorus (as it is sung now):

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel.

Now, who separates an imperative ("rejoice") from the entity being addressed ("Israel") by an entire line of lyric -- especially when there's a considerable pause after the first line, which contributes to the confusion?

You might be able to do in Latin because the case endings will tell you "Israel" is in the vocative.

In English, however, word order matters.

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