Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Twenty Three

Day Twenty Three

Traditional music

I’d be the first to admit I have a poor singing voice and don’t enjoy singing very much but at this time of the year, neither fact matters. Winter songs, carols and other music are so much a part of this season that even those who usually sing out of tune find, almost miraculously, find themselves able to carry a tune. The tunes of our most popular carols are probably quite ancient, and the words embedded (to some extent) in the brains of a lot of people. Most of us who grew up in this country went to schools where assemblies included a small (often quite nominal) religious content, but during the run up to Christmas, the nativity play is ubiquitous along with about ten carols that almost everyone knows.

I have about ten or fifteen CDs that I can play only at this time of year. Some are by my favourite singer, Canadian Lorena McKennit, and include less well know carols like the Coventry Carol. Another favourite is Maddy Prior (and her Carnival Band), who sings some of the most ancient of carols like The Boar’s Head. Another is flute music played by a good friend of mine, Jane de Silva, and sent instead of a Christmas card. I have also a CD of Latin chants for the season, sung medieval style. I cherish the few weeks a year when I can legitimately play these CDs.

I sometimes even sing along…

6 thoughts on “Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Twenty Three

    • ..hear every year at the same time on the radio; Wham, this thing created by Bob Geldof, the sh… american version. and all the other crap by ‘pop stars’ to drag more money of the public. At least they are not starting with these songs in September


  1. The big problem at the moment is what carols to have for the Christmas Morning service – bearing in mind that we’ve had all the favourites at the Carol Service, the Christmas Tree Festival, etc. Of course, there are others, less well known, but some of our congregation may not be too adventurous, musically! Our talented son’s have come to the rescue! Matt’s written a special arrangement of ‘In the bleak midwinter’ for Andy to play on his sax, which should give it a different flavour. And for the rest – well, we can repeat a few carols. There’s a reason that they’re called favourites!


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