Holiday Music, Traditional and Reinvented

I love old and unusual (pre-commercial-madness) holiday music. This season I spent some time prowling around Youtube and found some traditional renditions of favorites, and also some interesting reinterpretations.

The Coventry Carol deals with the Massacre of the Innocents, when Herod ordered the execution of male children under the age of two in Bethlehem, an often forgotten part of Christmas story. To me, it is a necessary counterbalance to some of the forced jollity of the season, a reminder that while many of us are celebrating, there are those who suffer who deserve our compassion.

This is King’s College Cambridge’s traditional rendition of the Coventry Carol.

Here’s a modern version composed by Kenneth Leighton, using the original words. Some commenters didn’t like the change but I find it captured the solemn subject beautifully. The young soloist is fantastic.

I’ve also loved “Gaudete”. Here’s a version by Anúna. Don’t you love their costumes?

And here’s a version described as a “post industrial groove anthem”, from the men’s choir of Milliken University.

What do you think of these pieces? Do you enjoy their modern reincarnations?

Happy Boxing Day!

Elena

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother’s Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency.

Her books have won the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club’s award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011.

When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.

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One Response to Holiday Music, Traditional and Reinvented

  1. Elena, I also love a lot of the old music! I must say I prefer the Anuna version of Gaudette (although the other one was fascinating!), but I listened to Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span’s version from long years ago so often, I can’t get that one out of my head –permanently fixed, including their accented version of some of the Latin words!!! I used to love going caroling with my SCA group –we sang old period songs as well as better known ones mixed in, and I liked those old ones best. I am a true anachronist!!

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