Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I never learned the exact words to “The Wearing of the Green,” but I know the tune. Here’s the song, with lyrics, and the melody on the bagpipes.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!




Music for Valentine’s Day


I heard a whimsical cello tune this morning at 8:57 that made me smile. It was from an operetta called Violettes Impériales. The song is “L’amour est un bouquet de violettes,” or “Love Is a Bouquet of Violets.” The composer is Francis Lopez. The musicians were the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Sol Gabettta played the cello. I couldn’t find the exact recording on YouTube, so I picked the two videos below. The first I love for the art; the second shows how lovely the music is on the piano.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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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.

Happy Fourth of July!

Here’s some information about the Star-Spangled Banner. Enjoy this unique video!

And here’s an article on the top ten July 4th songs, according to The Nation.

Have a great day, everybody!

uly 4th clip art



And even though it doesn’t have anything to do with today, I always liked Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks. It was one of the first classical records I ever bought.

Music For Easter

Although I’ve always liked the film and song Easter Parade, I wanted to go beyond that for this entry. I haven’t listened to all these yet, but here’s what seems to be a fabulous collection of options. This link is from BBC Music Magazine, which seems worth checking out any day of the week. Enjoy!

I also always liked “Lord of the Dance,” which is based on the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts.” It’s featured on many Christmas CDs. “Home for the Holidays” by Schooner Fare is a favorite version. But it has always struck me as a better song for Easter.

I found this on YouTube. Pretty cool, at least to me.

New Year’s Day, 2015

Happy New Year from Google!

Happy New Year, everyone! May you all make some great days in 2015..

As you can see, I admire Google’s New Year’s Google Doodle. Here’s a celebratory jigsaw puzzle as well.

Here’s a list of popular songs for New Year’s 2015.

And if you’re not in the mood for rock or pop, here’s something from the world of classical music. Andre Rieu’s New Tear’s in Vienna:




A Welsh Carol — Parti Fronheulog: Carol Plygain: ‘Ar Gyfer Heddiw’r Bore’

A friend shared this Welsh carol with me. Although I don’t know the language, I still felt it was very pretty. The song is new to me. Many thanks to the person who posted it originally!

I also learned something about YouTube’s “Show More” tab, where the lyrics were posted.



For this day’s morning, as a little babe, as a little babe,
Was born the root of Jesse, as a little babe;
The Strong One from Bosra,
The Lawgiver on Sinai,
The Just One on Calvary, as a little babe, as a little babe,
Suckling on Mary’s breast, as a little babe.
The living water of Ezechiel on Mary’s knee, on Mary’s knee,

And Daniel’s true Messiah, on Mary’s knee;
The wise boy of Isaiah,
The promise made to Adam,
The Alpha and Omega, on Mary’s knee, on Mary’s knee,
In a stable in Bethlehem of Juda, on Mary’s knee.

Christ took off his crown, so he willed, so he willed,
To place a crown on Sion, so he willed;
To bow his kingly head,
To wear a crown of thorns,
To face ferocious mocking, so he willed, so he willed,
To lift up the guilty head, so he willed.

So now, you sinner hasten, as you are, as you are,
To ask for the sanctuary, as you are;
To you a fount now opens,
To wash your wounds of darkness
Like whitened snow in Salmon, as you are, as you are,
Come therefore in good time, as you are.

About the plygain tradition:http://www.nantlle.com/history-llanll…

‘Ar Gyfer Heddiw’r Bore’, a sacred song from 19th century Wales, is quite unlike the Christmas carols we know in English but it has a vivid grandeur all its own. I regret that this translation is not capable of being sung to the original melody and is provided simply to give some idea of what it is all about.

An carúl seo sa Ghaeilge: This carol in Irish: Y carol hwn yn y Wyddeleg:


This version in Irish is my own and as far as I can see it scans and rhymes in such a way as to be singable in Irish using the same tune as the original version sung on this video. Bain triail as! Give it a go! Rhowch gynnig arno!


Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to share some favorite Christmas carols. I love too many to list them all. Merry Christmas!

Joy to the World

Silent Night

Mary’s Boy Child

Christ Child’s Lullaby

12 Days of Christmas

The Holly and the Ivy

I Saw Three Ships

The First Noel

The Wexford Carol

Wexford Carol
Christmas Hymn & Carol Lyrics

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His belovèd Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day;
In Bethlehem upon the morn
There was a blest Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide
The noble virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass:
From every door repelled, alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble oxen stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom God’s angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
“Prepare and go”, the angels said,
“To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there you’ll find, this happy morn,
A princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.”

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as God’s angel has foretold,
They did our Savior Christ behold.
Within a manger He was laid,
And by His side the virgin maid
Attending to the Lord of Life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.


A Collection of Christmas Carols

I meant to get out all my Christmas and holiday music out at Thanksgiving and begin playing it. Perhaps in a few days I’ll write about my own favorites.

Anyhow, many thanks to Rich at Good Music Speaks blog for this post on Samuel Barber and some beautiful Christmas carols. At some point, I’ll listen to Barber more.

Happy Belated Halloween!!

I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, but I do have some good memories. on October 24th, our building held its annual Halloween party for everyone–including kids and grandkids. As always, it was fun seeing everyone dressed in their costumes. And yes, I did watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” for the umpteenth time. The show also has a new book out about how it was created.

Here are two videos honoring that show. The first features all of the music from the program, starting with the well-known dance theme that you recognize the minute you hear it. The second is “The Great Pumpkin Waltz.” Vince Guaraldi deserves a separate essay at some point.

I don’t think there are many Halloween songs, but here is one of my favorites, “The Monster Mash.” I vaguely remember the cartoon “Groovie Goolies,” which originally ran on TV between 1970 and 1972.  This made me smile. Enjoy!

My aunt and I used to sing a couple of Halloween songs. But with the passage of time, we both forgot the exact words. The first was “Halloween, Halloween! Oh, what funny things are seen…” “The second began, “Witches on brooms…”

I can’t reproduce the tunes for these, but I hope I located the lyrics. Oh–there was also my haunted house record, but I never cared for that too much.

Funny Halloween

Hallowe’en! Hallowe’en!
Oh, what funny things are seen!
Witches‘ hats, coal black cats,
Broomstick riders, bats and rats!

Hallowe’en! Hallowe’en!
Jack-o-Lanterns light the scene.
Costumes queer, shrieks of fear,
Strangest night in all the year!

My copying and pasting went wonky for some reason. Here’s a link to “Witches on Brooms.”