Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmasy Things - Carols

I was mentioning to a colleague the other day about our rather extensive collection of Christmas music. She said she had one or two CDs but she wasn't very religious. My reaction was: What's that got to do with it. Some of the most beautiful music has been written around Christmas. I don't believe you have to be religious, a believer or even a nominal Christian to find joy and at times comfort in the music of Christmas.

Much of the Christmas music that I treasure I was introduced to on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and two or three programmes in particular hosted by Bob Kerr, Clyde Gilmour and Jurgen Gothe. I swear that amongst the three of them they had every Christmas album ever issued in any country. Classical, popular, jazz, familiar, traditional and modern - it was all there. Sadly the CBC no longer features programmes of that type or people of that caliber.

One of the most beautiful of the modern carols is Elizabeth Poston's 1967 setting of an mystical poem by an unknown writer in 18th century New England.

I'm posting this for Lorraine, Julie, their family and Mr. Stewart; for Betty Jean, Sarah, Brian and our dear friend Stephen.

1. The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

2. His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

3. For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

4. I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

5. This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

I don't believe there is a better version than this one by King's College, Cambridge and thanks to cantoridecani for posting it.

16 dicembre - Sant'Albina


sageweb said...

They are so sweet to listen too.

Sling said...

Ooooh,..That's pretty!
I love Christmas carols in general,but I especially enjoy Nat King Cole's this time of year.

yellowdog granny said...

I'm a pagan, and I have a huge collection on christmas music..and love playing it and listen to it all thru the holidays...

more cowbell said...

LOVE this. There is something about the sound of a boys choir -- one of the purest sounds there is, IMHO.

I loved the post as well as the music, because I too have a prodigious collection of Christmas music. I still love the traditional xmas carols, though most of them are rooted in religion. And I love love love much of the early music from masses, although I am not anything near to religious these days. I used to feel conflicted about it, but I let go of that.

We recently put the bulk of my xmas music onto my iPod, which is now referred to as the ChristmasPod.