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My music history professor stated flat out that Handel's English text setting was just plain bad because of his poor understanding of the language, and this was his Exhibit A. There is also the Golf Song: "FORE! Unto us a child is born!" I think he could have done better: "All WE, like SHEEP, like SHEEP have gone astray" but that's just my opinion. ...


I cannot say whether there are documents that address whether Handel thought of a double meaning in his setting of this text. The accent on the word "we" does seem a bit strange. Like you, I've heard the story that Handel's grasp of the finer points of English pronunciation may have been slightly lacking (after all he was raised in Germany, and studied in ...

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