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Anyone who has grown up on a farm knows how peaceful a barn can be when it’s dark and cold outside and the animals inside are resting and shuffling in the hay.   This carol, The Friendly Beasts, conjures up that memory for me, and images of a “stable rude.”  The carol dates back to the 12th century.    Many people have recorded this song, from  Peter Paul and Mary to Garth Brooks.  The  version that I chose is by Sufjan Stevens, from his Songs of Christmas album.