T-13; 1.50: Fav Xmas Carols (Re-run :-))

[Running as fast as I can… and running way behind schedue. Posting sparse this week and looks like that’ll be the case for a while. So, sit back and let your fingers do the clicking through 13 of my favorite Advent songs/Christmas Carols–a repeat from last year.

Just 13 Christmas Carols (and Advent Hymns) I like, not favs–that’d be a much longer list–but just some I like. Notice there are no secular songs in the list. That’s because, while I feel I can stretch the list to include Advent songs, secular songs are in no way, shape, fashion or form carols. Yes, I know common parlance has pejorated the term ‘carol” to mean, well just about anything a speaker wants it to mean, but I’m not going to enter the sign-symbol-semantics-pejoration thicket today. Just sayin’–ain’t no secular songs that are Christmas carols, not really.

In no particular order:

The First Noel. You probably know the words. Click the link to sing along with an instrumental accompaniment suitable for voices to sing with.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Linked to lyrics and a sample of the tune.)

Away in a Manger (lyrics linked) NOT sung to the crappy, urm, poor tune by James R. Murray that darned near everyone and his dog seems to think fits it well. (OK, the tune’s not crappy, just pedestrian and boring–besides being unsuitable to a wide array of voices including most children’s voices.) Here’s an excerpt of a better tune:

Away in a Manger (opens in new window)

OK, so the tempo it’s played is too fast for singing the song properly, but the tune’s beautiful and works much better with the lyrics when sung at a proper tempo~100bpm.

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming Powerful text, beautiful tune. Click the link for both the text and an mp3 of Kathleen Battle (!!) singing the song.

The Seven Joys of Mary. The link’s to the lyrics and a really fun performance by The Great Big Sea. (The web page at the link includes a disconcerting misuse of an apostrophe in the title, but I can forgive that for the rollicking recording of this song :-))

Of the Alfred Burt Carols, one is probably the most-sung: Some Children See Him. Follow the link to discover why, if you don’t already know. 🙂

OK, it’s not strictly a Christmas carol, nor is it limited to Christmas alone in its scope (unless one contemplates the Christmas story, as do many, as the story of God’s Gift to mankind), but Lord Of The Dance, although relatively new and neither carol nor even hymn, is a song to gather the thread of Christmas together into a beautiful and full tapestry. (And a suitable use/adaptation of the tune associated with “Simple Gifts” too. :-))

Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor. See the lyrics at the link, but listen to the mp3 here (the audio player I was testing on that post is a lil cranky. :-))

Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor (opens in new window)

O Little Town of Bethlehem. The link’s to a clip from a performance by Neal Davis.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. (You’re gonna love that link! Repeated below so you CAN’T miss it! :-)) I’m no fan of the Arthur Sullivan tune mated to the carol text, and I’ve already posted a clip to an arrangement of the tune I do like (in a style I find appropriate for a Christmas Eve service or the like), but here’s areally fun swing band arrangement (and yeh, there’s a sales pitch for the chart at the end of the piece. Oh. Well. :-)). I particularly like the totally inappropriate treatment of the “peace on the earth” segment. Cool. *heh*

Ding Dong Merrily on High The link’s to an interesting and sometimes quite good instrumental arrangement, for those of y’all who like reading along with instrumental scores (you may have to download and install Sibelius Music’s Scorch music player). Here are the lyrics.

Go, Tell It On the Mountain I can’t seem to lay my hands on the arrangement/recording I’m partial to right now, so the link’s to a pdf of a decent arrangement.

Rise Up Shepherd and Follow The link’s to a clip of a credible piano performance. Others by the same performer found here. Lyrics here.

And a bonus, number 14 (even though I could keep on going :-)):

Silent Night I prefer the German lyrics:

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute heilige Paar.
Holder Knab’ im lockigten Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb’ aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’.
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
Jesum in Menschengestalt!
Jesum in Menschengestalt!

4. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
Jesus die Völker der Welt!
Jesus die Völker der Welt!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß!
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
“Jesus der Retter ist da!”
“Jesus der Retter ist da!

Linked at the Thursday Thirteen Hub and at the Christmas Alliance 2007 HQ.

6 Replies to “T-13; 1.50: Fav Xmas Carols (Re-run :-))”

  1. Sloooooooooooooow down David..lol..love all the hymns and carols!
    thanks for sharing…Happy holiday season and Happy Chanukah too!:)have some potato pancakes on me!.:)

  2. I used to sing Silent Night in Japanese but it’s been so long now that I can’t remember the words and last year when I asked my mother for them, she had forgotten as well; since I’d picked it up from her since she’d lived there as a child, and then corrected my pronunciation from my college roommate from Japan, I’ll now have to either wait for another encounter or find someone singing it on the web, which isn’t as fun.

    Anyway, the Japanese version is very pretty.

    There’s also a song called “Mother Mary” which I don’t know if it fits in your criteria for “carol”. I first heard it sung by Roger Whittiker. I think it’s one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever.

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