Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Word on Carols

Despite the recent mockery on my blog, I like carols; they're a repository of some very old and beautiful melodies. That being said, the worst carols tend to get repeated over and over again (Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer).

The best carols are the old ones, with the exception of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'. I don't know who was responsible for that brainfart, but probably whoever it was probably got beaten up by his fellow renaissance minstrels on a regular basis. You know ...

"Hey Reynard! There's the fooker that wrote that Merry Christmas piece of shite! Let's bash the fooker's fooking face in!"

"Aye, verily, and fooking right!"

The best modern one might be Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas', simply because it's so bizarre seeing him and David Bowie singing that song together - yes, the music video does exist! Almost any carol with Santa Claus in it is almost guaranteed to be crap, mostly because the Santa Claus cult popped up in the 20th century. ' (Sorry old boy, but you know it's right). 'Santa Claus is Coming' is dreadful.

But then you get pieces like 'Three Kings', 'Hark, the Herald Angels', 'Come All Ye Faithful', 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and 'Good King Wenceslas' which are grouse (especially for the archaic English expressions) and especially 'In Dulce Jubilo', which is especially cool to sing because of the Latin phrases.

In Dulce Jubilo,
We sing with hearts aglow;
Our delight and pleasure
Is in praecipio,
Alpha est et oh,
Alpha est et oh.

I have no idea what it means, but I like to think it's medieval porn.

UPDATE! - Actually, turns out the song Bowie and Bing sung together was 'Peace on Earth' and 'Little Drummer Boy'. I still don't mind 'White Christmas', though like most carols it gets repeated too many times.


Tim said...

Most annoying carol? "Ding Dong Merrily On High". You just know Ray Martin loves it.

(Actually I was going to say you just know Ray Martin gets Marina Prior to sing it while she blows him backstage at Carols By Candlelight, but that would just be sick.)

TimT said...

Actually, I think Frank Zappa could do your suggested rendition justice; I'm thinking getting Marina to do the verse in the manner of the Zappa song 'Catholic Girls' - you know it?

Dmg dmg mrrbly nnn hgggghhghg
Nnn hvn thg blls rrr wrnggng ...

There are far worse carols than 'Ding Dong Merrily'. Twerpy songs like 'Jingle Bell Rock', for instance.

ras said...

Medieval Porn?! You saucy minx Timt, here i was thinking you were as pure and chaste as the driven snow.

Hey if you've got any medieval porn lying around share the love.

TimT said...

I don't know any examples of medieval porn offhand, but in the renaissance, they were quite fond of writing hymns to hymen:

While dancing rests, fit place to musicke graunting,
Good spels the Fates shall breath, al enuy daunting,
Kind eares with ioy enchaunting, chaunting.

Io, Io, Hymen.

Anonymous said...

Well Hymns to Hymen is pretty kinky, i'll consider that goods delivered

now if only you would come through with that chocolate sauce

TimT said...

Such high standards!

Email: timhtrain - at -

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