It was Christbus time but Randolph was alone […] ‘I can’t understand this being so aloneley on the one day of the year when one would surely suspect a pal or two?’ thought Rangolf. Hanyway he carried on putting ub the desicrations and muzzle toe.
Someone sent me a Christmas item. It is ‘The Nativity According to Marx & Lenin.’
When the Ukraine was free and not under Soviet bondage, Christmas was, of course, the religious event that it is in the Western world. A favorite Ukrainian carol was ‘Nova Radist Stala’ — ‘The Joyous News Has Come To Us.’ The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden, clad in raiment poor like a peasant baby, the shepherds with the lambs surrounded the child, and on flected knees they Him glorified. We beg you our King, we pray to you today, grant happiness and joy to this family.
Now, of course, this was neither fitting nor permitted under Communism. Still the commissars were a little leery about an outright ban. They chose to allow the song after some rewriting. In fact, they provided the Ukrainians with two versions, neither of which could be expected to have made the Ukrainian Hit Parade.
‘The Joyous News has come which never was before. Long-awaited star of freedom lit the skies in October.'(If you’re wondering about what happened on the date, the revolution took place in October.) ‘Where formerly lived the kings and had the roots their nobles, there today with simple folks, Lenin’s glory hovers.’
The people of the Ukraine, both in and outside the Iron Curtain, were so carried away by these verses, they added one of their own. They sing it, but carefully refrain from putting it in the songbooks. It goes: ‘We beg you our Lord, we pray to you today. Grant us freedom, return glory to our Mother Ukraine.’ I guess we all hope their prayer is answered.
This is Ronald Reagan – thanks for listening.
Ronald Reagan’s Radio Program on Christmas under Communism [excerpts]