STAVE 1:
Marley's Ghost, The Ever-Errant Enchained

STAVE 2:
The First of the Three Spirits, The Pure Enlightened

Cold wind had blown
And howled through the doors
From the north had driven storm
Fear had taken form of a guest
From shadow born, pale as snow
And Marley's words had turned

"I wear the chain I forged in life
I made it link by link and yard by yard
Expect the first tomorrow when the bell tolls one
Because you will be haunted by three Spirits"

- How can I have slept through
A whole day and far into another night? -

The quarter was so long
The hour itself and nothing else
And the curtains of his bed
Were drawn aside by a hand

Of a strange figure dressed in purest white
Breaking out from light, half old half child

"I am the Ghost of Christmas Past
Your past, rise and walk with me"

The darkness and the mist had vanished
It was a clear, cold, winter day

- Good heaven, I was bred in this place! -
"These are but shadows
Of the things that have been"

The school was not quite deserted
A solitary child neglected by his friends
Was left there still

And Scrooge sat down upon a form and wept to see
His poor forgotten self as he used to be
And the visit of his little sister, Fan
Always a delicate creature
Whom a breath might have withered
But she died a woman

"Let us see another Christmas"

And it was Christmas time again
It was made plain enough by the dressing of the shops
But it was evening and the streets were lighted up
The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door
- I was apprenticed here -

Waltz of the Apprentice

A ball room as you would desire to see upon a winter's night
In came a fiddler with a music-book, in came Mrs Fezziwig
In came the three Miss Fezziwigs, beaming and lovable
In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke

There were more dances and there were forfeits
And more dances and there was cake
And there was negus, and there was a great piece
Of cold roast beef and there was a great piece of cold boiled
And there were mince-pies and plenty of beer
The fire and a mistletoe wreath and there were red candles
Wine, cheers, laughings, happiness

Once upon Loss, Regret and Broken Promise

He was older now
And his face had begun to wear
The signs of care and avarice
He was not alone
But sat by the side of a fair
Young girl in mourning dress
In whose eyes there were tears

"It matters little
To you, very little
You fear the world too much
Another idol has displaced me, a golden one
I have seen your nobler aspirations
Fall off one by one
And I release you with a full heart
For the love of him you once were"

She left him and they parted
- Show me no more! Conduct me home!
Why do you delight to torture me? No more! -
"One shadow more", exclaimed the Ghost

"And now see the family that you have never had"

A daughter was standing near the fire with her mother
And children asking for Christmas presents
When the husband suddenly said:

"I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon
Mr. Scrooge it was, I passed his office window
And he had a candle inside
His partner lies upon the point of death
And there he sat alone, quite alone in the world
I do believe"

- Leave me
Take me back
Haunt me no longer -

STAVE 3:
The Second of the Three Spirits, The Serpentine Crowned

Serpent, it creeps to man asleep
Without any warmth, without any sound
Man, he sleeps where serpent awaits
Without any awareness, without any care

Sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together
Scrooge had no occasion to be told
That the bell was again upon the stroke of one
Now being prepared for almost anything

He turned uncomfortably cold
When he began to wonder
Which of his curtains
This new spectre
Would draw back
He put them every one
Aside with his own hands
And lying down again
Established a sharp look-out
All round the bed

Five minutes, ten minutes
A quarter of an hour went by
Yet nothing came
A strange voice
Called him by his name

"Come in and know me better, Man
I am the Ghost of Christmas Present
Look upon me"
- Spirit, conduct me where you will -

Dinner of Villains, A Crutch and the Vacant Seat

The house fronts looked black enough
And the windows blacker
Contrasting with the smooth white sheet
Of snow upon the roofs
It led him straight to his clerk's house
Bob Cratchit his name
Who had just come home
With his son upon his shoulder, Tiny Tim
Alas, he bore a little crutch
And had his limbs supported by
An iron frame

The pale hands of misery had gathered this family
Among hunger and sickness in a portrait of disgrace
A dinner of villains, too many mouths to feed
Bob’s voice was tremulous when he told them this:

"Tim told me, coming home
That he hoped the people saw him
In the church because he was a cripple
And it might be pleasant to them
To remember upon Christmas Day
Who made lame beggars walk
And blind men see"

- Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live -

"I see a vacant seat
In the poor chimney corner
(Carefully preserved)
And a crutch without an owner
If these shadows remain
Unaltered by the Future
None other of my race
Will find him here"

Through the Storm to Man's Orphanage

To Scrooge’s horror, looking back
He saw the last of the land
A frightful range of rocks behind them
And his ears were deafened
By the thundering of water
As it rolled and roared
Again the Ghost sped on and on
Above the black and heaving sea
Being far away from any shore
They lighted on a ship

Much they saw and far they went
In almshouse, hospital and jail
In misery’s every refuge
It was a long night
If it were only a night

Looking at the Spirit he noticed that its hair was grey
- Are spirits' lives so short? -
"My life upon this globe is very brief
It ends to-night at midnight"

- Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask
But I see something strange, not belonging to yourself
Protruding from your skirts, is it a foot or a claw? -
"It might be a claw for the flesh there is upon it"

From the foldings of its robe it brought two children
Wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable
They knelt down at its feet

"They are Man’s, this boy is Ignorance
This girl is Want, beware them both
But most of all beware this boy
For on his brow I see that written which is Doom"

- Have they no refuge or resource? -
"Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"
What then. If they be like to die, they had better do it, and decrease
the surplus population
(The bell struck twelve)

Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost
And saw it not, as the last stroke ceased to vibrate
He remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley
And lifting up his eyes beheld a solemn Phantom
Draped and hooded, coming like a mist
Along the ground, towards him

STAVE 4:
The Last of the Three Spirits, The Black Hooded

The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached
When it came, Scrooge bent down upon his knee
For in the very air through which this Spirit moved
It seemed to scatter gloom and mystery
It was shrouded in a deep black garment

It left nothing of it visible
Save one outstretched hand
But for this, it would have been difficult
To detach its figure from the night
And separate it from the darkness
By which it was surrounded

- Am I in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come? -
The Spirit answered not but pointed onward with its hand

- You are about to show me shadows
Of the things that have not happened
But will happen in the time before us
Ghost of the Future, I fear you
More than any spectre I have seen -

They traveled through time and space
And stopped beside different places
Where everyone was speaking about
The death of a rich old man

If he had died alone and forgotten
Someone was selling out his burial dress
And the curtains of his bed after despoiling them
From his own corpse and chapel of rest

No word of care or sadness to him
No prayer and no funeral dirge
A tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone
A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping
Clutching, covetous, old sinner!

- Spirit, I see! The case of this man might be my own
Merciful Heaven, what is this? -

A pale light fell straight upon a bed and on it
Plundered, unwept, uncared for was the body of this man

A Corpse Unwept, Uncared For and Forgotten

Oh cold, cold, rigid, dreadful Death set up thine altar here
And dress it with such terrors as thou hast at thy command
For this is thy dominion
It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released?
It is not that the heart and pulse are still? Strike, Shadow, strike
And see his good deeds springing from the wound
To sow the world with life immortal

No voice pronounced these words in Scrooge’s ears
The Phantom steady hand was pointed to the head

- Spirit, I understand you
And I would do it if I could
But I have not the power
Let me see some tenderness
Connected with this death
Or that dark chamber will be
For ever present to me -

The Ghost conducted him through several streets
Familiar to his feet and as they went along
Scrooge looked here and there to find himself
But nowhere was he to be seen

-Tell me what man that was whom we saw lying dead -

The Spirit stopped
The hand was pointed elsewhere
A churchyard! Here, then
The wretched man whose name
He had now to learn
Lay underneath the ground

It was a worthy place
Walled in by houses, overrun by grass and weeds
The growth of vegetation’s death
The Spirit stood among the graves
And pointed down to one

The Stone of the Neglected Grave

- Are these the shadows of the things that will be
Or are they shadows of things that may be, only? -

Still the Ghost pointed downward
To the grave by which it stood

- Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends
To which, if persevered in, they must lead
But if the courses be departed from
The ends will change -

Scrooge crept towards it
Trembling as he went and following the finger
Read upon the stone of the neglected grave
His own name

STAVE 5:
The End of It


Lyrics submitted by Eudaemon

A Christmas Carol song meanings
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