Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Favorite Carol

While it's still the Christmas season, here's another of my favorite carols: this one is called by many names, including "The Huron Carol," "Jesous Ahatonia," "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime," or "The Indian Christmas Carol." French Jesuit missionaries wrote this carol in the Huron and Wyandot languages, trying to explain the story of the birth of Christ to the people of these tribes in terms that would be familiar to them. The lyrics were later translated into French and much later into English. Unfortunately, I can't find the Burl Ives version that's an indelible memory of my childhood, but here's a very nice interpretation by Terry McDade and the McDades:

Here's a very different interpretation by singer Heather Dale. The English lyrics are very different from the ones I remember, but I really like the way she delivers the song in the Native American languages, French, and English, and really emphasizes the Native American feel.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Two Irish Carols

A Merry Christmas to everybody and a Happy New Year to the whole world! As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love all things Irish, Scottish, and Welsh since many of my ancestors came from that part of the world. Here are two favorite Irish Christmas carols. First up is "The Wexford Carol" performed by Alison Krauss and accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma; one of my favorite carols performed by one of my favorite singers.

Next up is "Don Oíche Úd I mBeithil ("I Sing of a Night in Bethlehem") performed by The Chieftains with Burgess Meredith. Mr. Meredith will read an English translation of the song followed by Kevin Conneff's rendition in Irish Gaelic. This is believed to be the only known example of a Christmas carol in Irish.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Veni, veni Emmanuel

Here's a little something for the end of Advent and the beginning of the Christmas season proper: a lovely setting of the ancient Advent hymn "Veni veni Emmanuel," (O Come, O Come Emmanuel) performed by the early music ensemble Con Piace. This is another example of something wonderful I just happened to find on YouTube. I gather from the decorative border around the image that this was intended to be a kind of video Christmas card—and as such I send it to you, dear readers, with this prayer: O Come, O Come Emmanuel!

Christmas Under Fire

I find YouTube endlessly fascinating. Here one can find anything and everything on video: music of all sorts, cartoons, TV shows, home movies, and more; the entertaining, the intriguing, the irritating, and the just plain weird.

It's no secret that times are hard these days and many people, including your humble blog host, are facing tough times this Christmas. But they could always be tougher. Here's a little video I found on YouTube entitled "Christmas Under Fire," released by the British Ministry of Information in 1941. The short film depicts Britons doing their best to carry on and enjoy Christmas despite nearly ceaseless Nazi air raids during the previous winter of 1940. May we all have that kind of courage to bear up under hard times!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Brother, Can You Spare A Click?

Ah, Christmastime! Snowflakes. Mistletoe. Sleigh bells. Twinkly lights. And the real reason for the season: SHOPPING!

Just kidding. But I do have a serious reason for talking about shopping. I'll be blunt: I'm desperately short of cash at the moment. I'll be even more blunt: I'm broke. But you, dear readers, can help with that. As you can see, there are ads for and other retailers all over the site. If you are considering a Christmas purchase from Amazon or one of these other retailers, please click on the banner ads on this site before you make your purchase. Please ask all your friends, neighbors, relatives, pets, and complete strangers to do likewise. That way, I'll receive a small percentage of the purchase price, you'll get a bargain on Christmas gifts, and help generate some Christmas cheer for your humble blog host. I thank you for your support.

And now for a musical selection. Take it away, Al!