December 3rd, 2003


Oh Carol

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I'd rather be Bethlehem Down, though. (Words by Bruce Blunt, music by Peter Warlock.) Or possibly Darke's setting of "In the Bleak Midwinter". Mmmmmm.
  • Current Music
    trying to sing carols very quietly under my breath

Voices singing in our ears

I seem to have spent a lot of the last few days with my head full of Christmas carols, and I'm getting increasingly frustrated at how difficult it is to search for carols which I half-remember. Google is excellent in very many ways, but hasn't quite got to the stage where I can sing a few notes of music at it and expect to get back full details of the song.

The one that's niggling at the edge of my consciousness at the moment is a version of "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day" which I've sung before but haven't been able to find since; it's a modern and rhythmically rather unusual version, but beyond that I'm not sure how I can describe it without singing it.

It's during carol-singing season that I can't help wishing that I'd taken GCSE German instead of Greek; apart from the occasional kyrie eleison Greek isn't much help to me in a choral context. If I had a little more German I wouldn't have to rely on Google's translation skills, which created a gloriously dissociated mess out of this one:
"It is a Ros risen from a root tenderly like us old sungen, out jesse came the kind and has a Bluem flax broke in the middle in the cold winter probably to the half night the Roeslein which I means, of it Jeaja says, has us alone brought Marie the pure farm servant out God ewgem advice, has it a child born, probably to the half night"

Somehow I think we'll be sticking to the German version; hopefully at some point before the 20th I'll have time to get my pronunciation sorted out. Our conscientious junior Organ Scholar at Pembroke would have been ashamed of me, after the amount of time he put in to getting the choir syllable-perfect for "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern", which apart from being a fantastic chorale in its own right forms the accompaniment to Peter Cornelius's Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar.

Part of the reason I'm so keen on Three Kings... is undoubtedly the associations it has for me, as it was always a staple of my school's Carol Services, which were in many ways the highlight of my school year. Collapse )