Heaven: Favorite Christmas Songs

HarryCHHarryCH Shipmate
edited January 10 in Limbo
Do you have a favorite Christmas song that is slightly unusual, i.e., not in your hymnal? (Please keep this in good taste. I am not interested in your grandmother's encounter with a reindeer.)

I will start us out with"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."
«1

Comments

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2022
    I will continue with a lovely old Cornish folk carol, sung here by the Albion Christmas Band:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgEbxam7wBA

    (Sans Day is a version of the name of St Day, a village in Cornwall...the song itself is a variation on the Holly and Ivy theme, often found in England.)
  • Anything from Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band's 'Carols and Capers' is always welcome.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    I love Steeleye Span’s version of Gaudete https://youtu.be/EDc2FD-vy8M
  • I love many of the less well-known settings of carols sung in pubs in South Yorkshire in the run-up to Christmas. My personal experience comes from The Royal Hotel in Dungworth ( no jokes please, it's a lovely little place!) but the same carol tradition happens all around that area. I wish I knew how give you a link from my phone - but you could google 'Curly Harp'!
  • Here's an upbeat take on a popular carol tune in England, though the Dutch title translates as Glory be to God in our days:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm3RbB9BbLE

    Joke Buis is well-known in The Netherlands, but not AFAIK elsewhere.
  • Continuing the folksy theme, here's the gorgeous West Gallery carol Arise and Hail the Joyful Day, as sung and played by the Mellstock Band:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSRaRA6HBZQ
    Diomedes wrote: »
    I love many of the less well-known settings of carols sung in pubs in South Yorkshire in the run-up to Christmas. My personal experience comes from The Royal Hotel in Dungworth ( no jokes please, it's a lovely little place!) but the same carol tradition happens all around that area. I wish I knew how give you a link from my phone - but you could google 'Curly Harp'!

    Yes indeed - much more fun than Carols from King's...
    :naughty:

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I love almost all the carols I know (most of you know what the exceptions are!). If we're looking for unusual ones, or even just ones that would only be sung by choirs, there are a few of what I'd call "cold" carols: they're usually the ones that focus on the bleaker aspects of Christmas, or look ahead to Lent.

    Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock (if you google A Time of Peace by Belfast Cathedral Choir* it's on there).

    * spot the shameless plug ... :mrgreen:

    In a similar vein, A spotless rose by Howells, and Quem vidistis, pastores by Poulenc. If you're not feeling shivery by the time you've sung them, you're not doing it right.

    And of course, O little town of Bethlehem (to Forest Green) because it was David's favourite; Unto us is born a Son, just because; and O come, all ye faithful for That Chord (the church musicians on here will know what I mean). :heart:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Here's an upbeat take on a popular carol tune in England, though the Dutch title translates as Glory be to God in our days:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm3RbB9BbLE

    Joke Buis is well-known in The Netherlands, but not AFAIK elsewhere.

    I rather like that, not least because she really looks as though she's enjoying herself!
  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    Without a doubt, one of my favourites is R Vaughan-Williams The Blessed Son of God
    https://youtu.be/u8DRhxoqYzs
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Here's an upbeat take on a popular carol tune in England, though the Dutch title translates as Glory be to God in our days:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm3RbB9BbLE

    Joke Buis is well-known in The Netherlands, but not AFAIK elsewhere.

    I rather like that, not least because she really looks as though she's enjoying herself!

    She does indeed. One of Europe's best contemporary Christian singers, and she is really good at bringing new life to old favourites...
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Spike wrote: »
    Without a doubt, one of my favourites is R Vaughan-Williams The Blessed Son of God
    https://youtu.be/u8DRhxoqYzs

    Oh yes! (another of D's favourites). :heart:
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2022
    RVW harmonised the old German carol Resonet in Laudibus, and here is an English version, by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band:

    :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptz7WztiPg4

    BTW, the former Vicar of my local church once asked, at the Midnight Mass, if anyone could tell her of any carols written or sung from Joseph's POV. I told her about this one, and also the old Cherry Tree Carol, as sung here by Joan Baez:

    :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYaFGSG_x80

  • The Yorkshire version of While Shepherds Watched - sung to the tune of Ilkley Moor. It does work
  • Sparrow wrote: »
    The Yorkshire version of While Shepherds Watched - sung to the tune of Ilkley Moor. It does work

    Indeed it does. The tune - Cranbrook - actually comes from Kent, and was sung at Our Place's Carol Service with much gusto, as they say.
  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    Sparrow wrote: »
    The Yorkshire version of While Shepherds Watched - sung to the tune of Ilkley Moor. It does work

    While Shepherds Watched can be sung to the theme tune from Dallas and Away in a Manger can be sung to The Wombling Song.

    You can thank me later.
  • Spike wrote: »
    Sparrow wrote: »
    The Yorkshire version of While Shepherds Watched - sung to the tune of Ilkley Moor. It does work

    While Shepherds Watched can be sung to the theme tune from Dallas and Away in a Manger can be sung to The Wombling Song.

    You can thank me later.

    Doesn't work when you get to the "Uncle Bulgaria..." bit that everyone fades out on.
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    edited December 2022
    Like silver lamps in a distant shrine I've only ever heard this at my (final) boarding school. The initial invoking of an apparetntly non-Christian image has always puzzled me.
    (But the Divine Hymnary version I found online is not at all like the simple tune I know.)
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock (if you google A Time of Peace by Belfast Cathedral Choir* it's on there).
    A lovely carol!

    Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved The Friendly Beasts. Wish I could find a recording on YouTube that I like. Alas.

    And since they were briefly discussed on the Ship recently, I’ll add The Monkees singing Ríu, Ríu, Chíu.

  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    Gardner, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing day is great fun to sing
    https://youtu.be/0VTkJSIXXzU
  • Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree
    https://youtu.be/5Uz2KTOsuAQ
  • Apart from the most popular carols, my favourites would be things like 'Rockin around the Christmas Tree ( Brenda Lee ) I'll be home for Christmas and Blue Christmas ( Elvis Presley). Cliff Richard has also done some good stuff.
  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    Telford wrote: »
    Cliff Richard has also done some good stuff.

    Really? When was that? I must have missed it 😜
  • Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree
    https://youtu.be/5Uz2KTOsuAQ

    Came across that for the first time at last night's carol service.
  • I love the wonderful version of Gaudete sung by the King's Singers. I would also suggest people check out the little know Australian Christmas Carols
  • The King’s Singers ‘A Little Christmas Music’ album is another favourite of mine.
  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    I feel I have to include Christmas Time (Don’t let the bells end) by The Darkness. Yes, I know it’s kitsch and camp, but deliberately so.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Any Christmas music by the Canadian Brass is always my choice...especially if there is a pipe organ involved!!!

    This is fun!!
  • I love Steeleye Span’s version of Gaudete https://youtu.be/EDc2FD-vy8M

    I just posted the Kings' Singers version of that on another thread. I prefer the Kings' Singers version, because they sing better, and I prefer their pronunciation.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2KSxg9Ij5r8
  • When it comes to Gaudete, I much prefer the Choir of Clare College Cambridge (with the London Cello Orchestra) version.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited December 2022

    Iesus non natus est hodie. Sunt sex dies ante Natale.
  • Well, naturally, but the request was for Christmas songs and not Advent songs.
  • Not obviously a Christmas song but it has been performed a few times at Winchester Cathedral Carol Services;
    The Lamb -music by John Tavener, words by William Blake.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Here are three I really like,

    While Shepherds watched to the tune Old Fosters. This is from Sheffield.

    Shepherds Arise sung by the Copper family from Sussex. I first encountered it as part of a Mysteries put on locally over 30 years ago.

    Peace O'er the earth, otherwise known as the Bradda Anthem after Bradwell in Derbyshire but here from Foolow. Although this is being sung on Christmas Day Foolow may well have been the last place where the village singers still went round the farms on Christmas Eve by night. I think they carried on doing so until sometime in the 1980s. It's was composed by Furness of Eyam - @KarlLB will know where that is - of a poem by Pope

    It's a great pity that there are about 100 tunes known for While shepherds watched, and because the compilers of Hymns A&M thought anything that was lively or fun to sing wasn't reverent enough, it's usually sung to the dullest of them all.

  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    Merry Vole wrote: »
    Not obviously a Christmas song but it has been performed a few times at Winchester Cathedral Carol Services;
    The Lamb -music by John Tavener, words by William Blake.

    I’ve sung it at Christmas concerts in the past
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited December 2022
    There's a lovely NZ one Carol[ Our Christmas . Unfortunately( in my view) one -line version is sung by someone singing it like a traditional folk song - at least that's what I think he's doing, the other is sung too slowly.

    (Sorry, my linking skills aren't brilliant, but Shirley Erana Murray's hymn writing skills were. we sang a lot of them at our church).
  • Huia wrote: »
    (Sorry, my linking skills aren't brilliant, but Shirley Erana Murray's hymn writing skills were.
    They were indeed!

  • Here's a lovely choral piece; words from a poem by Katrina Shepherd, music by contemporary composer Sally Beamish.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnOTEjDJykI

    This performance I think in Castle Howard in Yorkshire.
    You can find the words by searching for 12 Days of Christmas, Choral Christmas, Ryedale Festival 2020
  • Sorry. But I still like it: https://youtu.be/PTslBTBl1X8
  • No need to be sorry; it's a perfect pop song!
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Sorry. But I still like it: https://youtu.be/PTslBTBl1X8

    But how can you choose between Slade and:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJPc7esgvsA

    (and PS thanks for sharing the Jethro Tull song I'd never heard)
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    I shamefacedly admit I do have a soft spot for this.
  • I shamefacedly admit I do have a soft spot for this.

    There are sooooo many reasons to love that song! All of them bad, which makes it even better.
  • I shamefacedly admit I do have a soft spot for this.

    There are sooooo many reasons to love that song! All of them bad, which makes it even better.

    I think it has a nod to Wizzard's Xmas song -so that's a *good* reason to love it!
  • jrwjrw Shipmate
    A somewhat forgotten classic here from George Michael.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    edited December 2022
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goXDAFtkJLw might well become one of my favourite Christmas songs...
  • A little background to the above link https://youtu.be/QSUclZ6Ma28
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goXDAFtkJLw might well become one of my favourite Christmas songs...

    I've been trying to get that to Christmas no. 1 for two years now.
This discussion has been closed.