Monthly Archives: December 2017

I wonder as I wander

I’m posting Christmas carols to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. Today I offer an American carol, I Wonder as I Wander. Folklorist John Jacob Niles describes how he discovered the tune: “I Wonder As I Wander’ grew out of three lines of music sung for me by a girl who called herself Annie Morgan. […]

Tu scendi dalle stelle

I’m posting  a Christmas Carol for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Since nobody does Christmas like the Italians, I offer Quanno nescette ninno, a Neapolitan song better known in the Italian version Tu scendi dalle stelle. (Neapolitan is a different dialect, what we call Italian is the dialect from Tuscany further north.) This version is […]

The Somerset Carol (a.k.a. Come all you worthy gentlemen)

I’m posting a Christmas carol for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Today I’m picking Come all you worthy gentlemen, also known as The Somerset Carol. It is the lesser-known cousin of God rest you merry, gentlemen. It was hard to come by a good recording of this song but I tend to enjoy renditions of Come over Rest because […]

The Holy Innocents / Conventry Carol

It is day four of Christmas, and today’s carol is one of my favorites, the Coventry Carol. The Coventry Carol is a fragment of a the much larger Coventry Mystery Play which would have been celebrated in the Middle Ages as a way to teach people stories from the Bible. Mystery Plays were most popular […]

Feast of St John / Et Verbum Caro Factum Est

For the 12 Days of Christmas I am posting 12 Christmas Carols. Today’s piece is not really a carol, but a 16th century liturgical piece by Hans Leo Hassler which was to be used in the Mass of December 27th. Why sing Et Verbum Caro Factum Est on December 27th? Because today is the Feast […]

Back to the Historical Jesus

So to celebrate Christmas the Washington Post tweeted an old article challenging the existence of Jesus. It is outrage inducing click-bait, and I’m ashamed to admit I fell into the trap. Really, atheist trolls are  nothing to be mad about. The article was nevertheless absurd, arguing that since there is no evidence for Jesus outside […]

St Stephen’s Day / The Boar’s Head Carol

I’ll be celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas by posting Christmas carols. It is day two of Christmas, St Stephen’s Day, the feast of the proto-martyr St Stephen the Deacon. He is celebrated on December 26th because a Christian priest of Jerusalem named Lucian claimed to have discovered Stephen’s bones on that day in the […]