Today’s tune is from Canadian folk musician Bruce Cockburn. His album titled simply Christmas includes this rollicking tune Early On One Christmas Morn, a joyful song about the birth of the Christ child.
I have always loved the plaintive carol I Wonder As I Wander written by folklorist John Jacob Niles. The melody and lyrics were inspired by hearing a young Appalachian child sing a fragment of a long-lost song, and whenever I hear it I imagine someone wandering out in the night across the worn, snowy Appalachian hills. This version comes from the beautiful album titled Christmas Star: Carols For The Christmas Season by the Cambridge Singers, a wonderful album to add to your Christmas collection.
This tune for the 7th Day of 25 Days of Christmas is Silver Bells and this version comes from one of my favorite Christmas albums from way back in 1990. It’s the Roches, from “We Three Kings”. Victor Lesser plays saxophone at the end.
On a gloomy, rainy December day, this Merle Haggard song seems appropriate. “If we make it through December, everything’s gonna be all right I know.” This version is by Over the Rhine, from their Blood Oranges In The Snow album.
If We Make It Through December
Today is my husband Ken’s birthday. And since he says that he’s not in a Christmas mood until he hears this song, it’s inevitable that today’s Christmas Tune is Christmas Don’t Be Late with Alvin & the Chipmunks.
The Christmas soundtrack of my childhood includes this album by the Harry Simeone Chorale. A favorite is the title song: The Little Drummer Boy
“Song For A Winter’s Night.” This winter tune was written & sung by Gordon Lightfoot, and the words are lovely:
“The lamp is burning low upon my table top, the snow is gently falling…
I’d be happy just to hold the hands I love, on this winter night with you.”
This version is by Sarah McLachlan. Song For A Winter’s Night
One of my favorite memories of singing in the Women’s Choir at Houghton College was the year that we performed Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. Here is the St Paul Cathedral Choir singing a favorite piece from that collection, Balulalow, which is a Scottish word meaning “lullabye” –Mary’s song to the infant Christ child.
The forecast said thundershowers and I thought we’d have the same glancing torrent that we’ve had for months, bouncing off the parched earth and rolling away. But I awoke to the soft sound of droplets dripping off leaves and spattering on the sidewalk, the kind of rain that washes dust off the leaves and sinks into the soil. I can’t even remember when we’ve last had this kind of rain, sometime last spring, maybe. Long may it rain.