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Jim Besser

Theme Of The Month For December, 2014: 'tis The Season

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Well, what did you expect? It's December, after all.

 

Time to roll out those Christmas songs - religious songs, carols, pop songs, silly songs, whatever.

 

And let's not forget Chanukah, the winter solstice, and the other holidays that mark this time of year, as well as the tunes and songs that simply evoke the joys and sorrows of the season - snow, the early darkness, the pretty lights, the cozy fire in the hearth.

 

I expect many of us will deck the halls with instrumental versions of the obvious songs, and that's great.

 

But it's also fun to root around our music libraries and the Web to find holiday and winter songs from other peoples and places. Or you can even do your own personal favorite version of In the Bleak Midwinter. :rolleyes:

 

Feel like singing along with your concertina playing? All the better, although in the interests of sensitive ears everywhere, I will not join you.

Edited by Jim Besser

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I wonder what sort of seasonal songs they have in the southern hemisphere for this time of year. How do Aussies and Kiwis celebrate Christmas? Does their version of Santa arrive on a surfboard? How about South Africa and South America? Do the Polynesian religions have a special holiday in this season? Or is everybody south of the equator too busy soaking in the sun to record something for us? Well, maybe not those in Antarctica. B)

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I wonder what sort of seasonal songs they have in the southern hemisphere for this time of year. How do Aussies and Kiwis celebrate Christmas? B)

 

They probably roast a kiwi.

 

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I wonder what sort of seasonal songs they have in the southern hemisphere for this time of year. How do Aussies and Kiwis celebrate Christmas? B)

 

They probably roast a kiwi.

 

Uh, are you suggesting that New Zealanders roast kiwi birds, or that Aussies roast New Zealanders? :unsure:

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They probably roast a kiwi.

Uh, are you suggesting that New Zealanders roast kiwi birds, or that Aussies roast New Zealanders? :unsure:

 

I thought he meant the fruit.

 

free-photo-kiwi-fruit-968-m.jpg

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This, while being a recording of me and two seasonal tunes, has nothing to do with concertinas (although it is mentioned). I just thought my concertina friends might find it interesting.

It is an installment of a radio feature called "Piano Puzzlers" from 12 years ago. It was a weekly segment of a daily program on National Public Radio called "Performance Today." It's still running, although distributed by a different network now.

The announcer (then as now) is Fred Child. He introduces Bruce Adolphe, a composer/pianist from the Juilliard School of Music, who plays a familiar tune on the piano in the style of a famous composer. They get a listener on the phone to try to guess the tune and the composer. As this one aired in December (2002), he chose two seasonal tunes (a "practice round" and an "actual Piano Puzzler"). I was the guy on the phone.

 

You can hear more Piano Puzzlers (and even subscribe to the podcast, as I do) here.

 

 

 

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As announced, a first instrumental approach to "The Holst":

 

In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst)

 

(not in the key of my singing voice, but with some fiddle-ish moments insttead)

 

Very nice, nice fiddle-ish moments.

 

Thank you for that Jim, I'm glad that the idea has been getting through...

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As I am currently living in Sussex here is a concertina version of tune of the "Sussex Carol".

AlSTE-047.mp3

Happy Xmas

Al :)

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As I am currently living in Sussex here is a concertina version of tune of the "Sussex Carol".

Alattachicon.gifSTE-047.mp3

Happy Xmas

Al :)

 

Very nice, Al. I don't know that one; I do know the Sussex Mummer's Carol, which is a beautiful seasonal choral piece that traditionally closes out the Christmas Revels shows in the US.

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As I am currently living in Sussex here is a concertina version of tune of the "Sussex Carol".

Alattachicon.gifSTE-047.mp3

Happy Xmas

Al :)

 

Very nice, Al. I don't know that one; I do know the Sussex Mummer's Carol, which is a beautiful seasonal choral piece that traditionally closes out the Christmas Revels shows in the US.

 

Agreed - nice playing Al. :-)

Jim - having found a video of the Christmas Revels performance, I can happily report that Al would know that one, as it was collected by Lucy Broadwood from the Rusper mummers in Sussex in the late 1800's, and is still sung by the Broadwood Morris dancers when they perform their Mummers Play on Boxing Day in Rusper every year.

 

Herewith a link to the notes for two Sussex mummers'carols collected by Ms Broadwood

 

http://www.sussexarch.org.uk/saaf/mumcarol.html

 

At the moment I am hunting for a recording I have of a rehearsal of "The Moon Shines Bright", another carol collected by Ms Broadwood, on which Ralphie Jordan is playing concertina accompaniment to my singing, It fits the theme ... and in my eyes and ears it is always worth hearing what he was capable of on the Maccann duet. :)

 

I can't see anything in the rules which says that the recording has to be now and current ... I hope!

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I can't see anything in the rules which says that the recording has to be now and current ... I hope!

 

 

Only rule is that it's something you like that fits the theme!

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As I am currently living in Sussex here is a concertina version of tune of the "Sussex Carol".

Alattachicon.gifSTE-047.mp3

Happy Xmas

Al :)

Very nice, Al. I don't know that one; I do know the Sussex Mummer's Carol, which is a beautiful seasonal choral piece that traditionally closes out the Christmas Revels shows in the US.

I know I've heard Al's Sussex Carol before, probably either as part of one of the New York Revels shows or as part of a Nowell Sing We Clear celebration. Maybe both. Very nice... both the tune and the playing.

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Having tracked down the rehearsal recording that I was looking for herewith "The Moon Shines Bright" - Maccann duet accompaniment by Ralph Jordan, vocals by me. The song was collected by Lucy Broadwood from "the Goby men" (sadly, no names noted down) near Lyne House in Surrey in the late 1800s. The Gobys were travellers who were well known in the Dorking and Horsham areas of Surrey and Sussex. The carol itself has been collected in various different versions around England, mostly in the format of a May Day carol, but this version is definitely a "New Year" carol. It is often known as the Bellman's Carol.

I wanted to post this as an example of Ralph's accompaniment, always very rewarding to sing against.
https://soundcloud.com/surreysinger/the-moon-shines-bright

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