I am listening to a delicious version of Christina Rossetti's famous carol from the choir of New College, Oxford. This perhaps is the msot beautiful of all the Chistmas songs. Nearly 30 years ago I learned the tenor part for a Christmas performance. (Nowadays I have to sing bass; I have Le sang froid Anglais - what Noel Coward translated as the Englishman and his usual bloody cold.)
Of course the words are inappropriate for Palestine in September - or whenever it was the wondrous deed was done. No snow; no frosty wind to make any moan; no earth as hard as iron; no water like a stone. No heat in the very sod the saint has printed. No winter's snow to see amidst. No cold winter's night that was so deep. But in truth not many carols have any reference to the sort of Northern European winter conditions that make them difficult to sing in the antipodes. Winds through the olive trees has the sheep on Bethelhem hills knee deep in snow, but generally the snowy Christmas card imagary is avoided.
The difficulty of the bleak midwinter is that in the last line everybody fails to fit all the words in. The "Yet what" has to be sung on the first note. and then it continues, "I can I give Him; give my heart!"