20 December 2009

Advent Calendar: Christmas Music

The Genea-Bloggers’ Advent Calendar of Christmas Music asks: What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

For me, the first and last questions centred for many years on a Christmas album published by The Kingston Trio back in the 1970s(?). The Trio found a wonderful collection of little-known and little-heard carols of both merry and poignant variety. Surely my children grew up listening to (and memorizing) those songs I played endlessly during the season. My old LP disappeared as music technology formats changed.

Unfortunately I can’t find many of those songs on YouTube, especially by the old K3, but here is one by Harry Belafonte from a Muppets Family Christmas. OK, I hope I got that URL right.

Other nostalgic Christmas melodies on the album I am sorely missing are:
“Go Tell It on a Mountain”
“Goodnight My Baby Goodnight”
“Children Go Where I send Thee”
“Gloucestershire Wassail”
I’m sure I don’t remember all the titles.

Question no. 2: Our first Christmas in rural farm living was a revelation in many ways. We were startled on Christmas Eve preparations—when we still had a marginal Santa youngster—by a ruckus in the front yard. What should appear, not eight tiny reindeer, but a sleighful of rosy neighbours bellowing Christmas carols. It was a sleigh because we had snow, lots of it. Pulled by a tractor, but nonetheless. We ex-urban people dithered over how quickly (unexpectedly) we could offer hot chocolate or appropriate toddies (knowing them better .. later .. they would have had their own reinforcements.) No thank you, they said, come join us, we have more concession roads still to visit.

What a heartwarming neighbourly tradition, and also not disappearing, I hope. Echoing words in the “Gloucestershire Wassail,” may I say to all my friends and readers, as if I was actually at your doorstep,
"Bless all in this house till we come again!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had one of those oddball Christmas albums, too. Our album with little-known songs was by the New Christy Minstrels.