Favorite Carols for 2016

Merry belated Christmas 2016!  Once again, my plans to play all of my Christmas CDs and tapes didn’t work out that well. Usually I play them until Epiphany, January 12. I put them away neatly yesterday. I’ll wait ’til next year. But I have been known to play The Nutcracker in July.

have always loved so many carols. I have good memories of singing them with family, even though I am not a good singer.

I learned Oh, How Lovely Is the Evening in fourth grade. I was so impressed that I came home and taught it to my aunt, and we started singing it with our other Christmas records and carols for many years. The tune appears on one of my Christmas recordings. My class performed it for the Christmas recital that year–a lot of fun!  I had so wanted to hold and move the cardboard silver bell our teacher had made, but alas, I was too short. She ended up moving it in time with us as we sang….high up over our heads. My mom and uncle attended, and I think they both enjoyed it. I remember my uncle catching my eye and smiling. I don’t recall feeling nervous at all.

Here are the lyrics:

Oh, how lovely is the evening, is the evening,
When the bells are sweetly ringing, sweetly ringing!
Ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong.

I found many different versions on YouTube. This is my favorite, by Jennifer Ross, aka Harp Heart Dreams. She plays a 34-string clarsach. Not knowing much about this Scottish harp, I looked it up here.  I also love her photos of Caithness, Scotland.

 

While I’m on the subject of clarsachs, I found “The Chanter’s Tune.”  So pretty! Not a typical Christmas tune, but I like it.

 

Every time I turned on the radio in the Christmas season of 2016, “The First Noel” was always playing. It has always been a favorite. Here’s some background and a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

 

“The Holly and the Ivy” is another favorite. I love this arrangement. It also makes me think of Rumor Godden’s children’s story, and the holly trees in the back yard of our old home. I guess subsequent owners cut them down.

This one was new to me. I heard it in a recent production of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre. It’s called “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day”: 

A favorite Christmas recording is Patrick Ball’s Christmas Rose.  He plays celtic harp, and it’s just gorgeous. I have a couple of his other recordings as well.

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