Uh-Mazing! But then, the grammarphile in me got all distracted by the comma in the title. I had always assumed it was "Merry Gentlemen" as if the song had been written to gentlemen who were rather cheerful chaps who may have been in need of rest. Just one of those lines one tends to sing mindlessly without much thought. "Merry, Gentlemen" is a different animal altogether! A quick google search led me to an interesting blog called Bad things in new hymn books and other sad tales :"Merry" is the complement of the verb. Rest can (or could in the past) take a number of such complements, such as rest happy, rest content, and it was also used transitively either with a reflexive pronoun (I rest myself content) or with a personal pronoun when you make someone else rest happy or rest merry etc. In this case we ask that God will rest merry the present company (Gentlemen)."Gentlemen" is in the vocative, and addresses the assembled company. The phrase is exactly comparable to if we were to say "God bless you, Gentlemen" but instead of wishing for blessing we ask for resting merry. Quaint, heh?In case anyone cares.
That was great. Keep 'em coming - I still have stockings to wrap. :)
I scanned the comma in the title without thinking and missed it until you pointed it out, Paula. That's the sort of thing I totally geek out over.You know, at some point, you, me, SolaMommy and Julie the Mommy Grasshopper need to have some kind of virtual coffee get together. We all have way too much in common.
That. Was. Fabulous.
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