Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Holly And The Ivy

Amazing. When I think of Christmas music, it's this very traditional style I hear.

What's your favorite Christmas carol?


debra said...

Oh, Lisa, what a lovely choice. I love the male choir, with it's voices from young and old. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh this is a hard one! I absolutely love "O Holy Night" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." But there are so many others!

Larramie said...

This IS lovely, Lisa. And, while I love all the verses of "Silent Night," my favorite (of course) is "Joy to the World."

Julie Layne said...

I was reminded last night at a high school choir/orchestra concert of a favorite. When I took French in junior high, we learned carols in French and had a caroling party. Last night they sang "Noel Nouvelet" or "Sing We Noel" in English. I love the French version. It's kind of got that old traditional style, too, which I also like.

Then again, I get pretty perky in the car singing along with "We Need a Little Christmas!" and "The Holiday Season" (You know, "...comin' down the chimney, down ..." :-D

Elizabeth said...

I went to an Episcopal school through high school, and every year we did Lessons and Carols. This reminds me of it. The hair on the back of one's neck rising at the beginning when one boy voice rises from the back of the church, singing. Thanks for that video. My favorite carol is Silent Night, but I also love a real professional O Holy Night. And Aretha Franklin's O Tannenbaum is really one of my favorites.

Lisa said...

Debra, I think the choir renditions of Christmas songs were imprinted on me as a kid. Sadly, unlike my uncles and my grandfather, I was not born with a choir voice :)

Melissa, I love those too! As a matter of fact, I was searching YouTube for a version of O Holy Night that I liked, but they all seemed a little too -- modern for me, if you can believe that.

Julie, I just heard "We Need a Little Christmas" yesterday and it took me back. My mother was a big fan of a lot of show tunes and she had the album soundtrack from Mame. The carols in French sound lovely.

Elizabeth, I think my old school Episcopalian upbringing is where my love of traditional carols and choirs comes from. I attended a very conservative and beautiful Episcopal church (St. Paul's in Dedham, MA) from the time I was born through the time I stopped going in junior high or high school.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oh come all yea faithful is my favorite.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, I love them all--the traditional ("O Little Town of Bethlehem" especially the line, "the hopes and fears of all the years"), and then there are some lovely newer songs, too. And I recently found the youtube video of David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing "Little Drummer Boy" And I can't forget John Lennon's "Merry Christmas/War is Over" and Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

I better stop there, but I love them all (much to my family's dismay as i play them all month and sing along. Loudly.)

steve said...

Maybe it's sentimental, but "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Christina Rosetti is probably my favorite, though I love "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen" and a lot of the old traditional ones. I've heard "Shepherds Arise," an old English folk song, only on and old Caedmon record. Oh, and "I Wonder As I Wande, by John Jacob Niles.

Jennifer said...

That was beautiful. Gave me goosebumps in parts. I've been amassing an, er, "eclectic" Christmas music collection with all kinds of crazy things, but I do love the traditional carols best. I think "O Holy Night" is my favorite. But "In the Bleak Midwinter" is a close second.

Shauna Roberts said...

"Gautete!" is my favorite, with "Riu, riu, chiu," "Coventry Carol," and "Personet hodie" close seconds. I also love most of the early French carols. Julie mentioned "Noel Nouvelet": I would also add "Entre le bouef," "Il est né, le divin Enfant," and the "Huron Carol" (supposedly Native American, but clearly heavily Frenchified).

Denis said...

Yes, beautiful. On the other side of this is my memory of being in The St.Pauls boys choir for 6 years! From 1955 to 1961. It was a paid choir. Phil was a tenor in the Mens choir, (unpaid). The best soprano soloist I ever knew was Johnny Martinez. Phil was also a soloist. I dreaded The Messiah, which we always had to sing at Christmas. My favorite was Jesu Joy of Mans desiring,.

Lisa said...

Charles, If you can believe it, they had us singing Adeste Fideles (the Latin version), along with a whole bunch of other carols in the Boston Public School System when I was a kid. I'll bet they don't do that anymore! I'll see if I can find a good version of this during these 12 days of Christmas.

Judy, Oooh, good ones!

Steve, There is a video of the same choir (Winchester Cathedral) singing "In the Bleak Midwinter". I knew you'd like the old English ones too :)

Jennifer, Goosebumps all around. These boys made me wonder why all of the TV talent shows take little kids and make them sing like adults, when they have such a precious little time to sing like this.

Shauna, Now you have me curious to know how you know all these French songs. Julie posted a couple of beautiful videos at her place you should see.

Denis, Wow, I never knew they paid the choir! I remember Phil singing in the Mens' choir. He was great. The Messiah is beautiful -- but LONG if you listen to the whole thing. I used to have it on vinyl and I think there were four albums. Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring is one of my favorites.

Shauna Roberts said...

Lisa, I love your new blog design!

I know so many Christmas songs because I have a large library of early music CDs and before Katrina had a good collection of Christmas sheet music and music books. Also, when we lived in places with more culture, we went to concerts at Christmas and also performed ourselves.

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