On this 7th day of Christmas and the last day of an extremely difficult year, I offer you a lovely Elizabethan carol. This obscure gem, when it is known, has several titles, including “All Hail to the Days,” “In Praise of Christmas,” and “Drive the Cold Winter Away.” The 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th and last until January 5th, with January 6th being Three Kings Day in many countries. The lyrics of this English ballad mention these 12 days specifically and include seasonal festivities common around 1625, when this carol first appeared. There’s wassailing, theatre performances, and, of course, feasting. I hope you enjoy hearing me sing this carol with lyre accompaniment!
Change is bound to come!
Sway along in winds, as trees.
Progress is the Way.
Find out what Abbie is doing New Year’s Eve – the same thing I’m doing – read her entertaining post about past new years, and enjoy her performance of this beloved song.
Here are two musical settings for “Away in a Manger,” played on ukulele and alto recorder. The first one, best known in the United States, is popularly known as “Mueller.” Written by James Ramsey Murray in 1887, its original title was “Luther’s Cradle Hymn.” The second melody is more popular in the United Kingdom. “Cradle Song” was written in 1895 by William J. Kirkpatrick. Both settings are beautiful melodies, and I hope you enjoy them!
This carol is based on the 1863 poem, “Christmas Bells,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. When sung, the two stanzas pertaining to the American Civil War are omitted. However, you can read the full poem
I hope you enjoy this carol, sung and played on ukulele and Oriole soprano recorder!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Thank you for following, reading, listening, for your likes and kind comments, and for sharing in my
Holiday Blogging Party!
I’ve really enjoyed it and will do it again next year, maybe before that for another occasion–or no occasion at all! 🙂
My Christmas music offerings are not over just yet! “I Sas Three Ships (Come Sailing In)” is a popular carol and traditional English folk song. The earliest printing was in the 17th century. William Sandys also published it in 1833. It was especially popular in Cornwall and remains popular today, in the United Kingdom and United States alike.
I hope you enjoy “I Saw Three Ships” on lyre! And I wish you a blessed Christmas, hope, love, and peace in the days ahead!
“Angels We Have Heard on High” was originally written in French, though its author is unknown. The English translation was written by James Chadwick in 1862. The hymn is based on Luke 2:8-15, which read:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
–King James Version (KJV)
I hope you enjoy this arrangement on lyre, viola, and melody and harmony on alto recorder!
Here is a 17th-century French Christmas carol that is still sung today. The French title is “Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle,” and it was translated into English in the 18th century. Originating in the Provence region of France, it was not meant to be sung at Christmas, but was considered dance music for the French nobility.
In the lyrics, two farm girls, Jeanette and Isabella, find the Christ Child with his mother in the stable. The song describes how one should speak quietly and see how the baby is peacefully sleeping, enjoying his dreams. Then, they rush to a nearby village to share the news of His birth, and everyone comes to see the baby. To this day in the Provence region, children dress as shepherds and milkmaids and sing this carol on their way to Midnight Mass, carrying torches and candles.
My arrangement contains alto recorder and zither and is played as a lullaby rather than a dance tune. I hope you enjoy it! Have a safe, peaceful, blessed, and very Merry Christmas!
Enjoy Frank’s Christmas horizon story.