The Christmas Ship
Mir i Dobro

I Saw Three Ships


English ships of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries / From The discoverers, pioneers, and settlers of North and South America : from the earliest period (982) to present time. (New York : American Subscription Publishing House, 1859.) Brownell, Henry Howard (1820-1872), author / NPYL Digital Collection, Image 814708

A nod to my seafaring ancestors:

"Medieval imagery is the source for the 17th-century carol "I Saw Three Ships". The legend of three ships arriving in Bethlehem -- which was not even close to a seaport -- was a popular theme among peoples of seafaring regions of the world. Theirs was a world of imagination, allowing them to bring the story of the birth of Christ into their hearts and homes by using images that were part of their everyday existence. Three ships, perhaps representing the three Magi, carry the precious cargo or Mary and her newborn Child. The carol bids us join with the bells, the angels and all souls on earth . . . "On Christmas Day in the morning." (From the back of a Printery House christmas card)


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