This week we bring you the Library Director’s annual “Don’t Touch That Dial” holiday-music blog post, designed to chase the dark away.
1. The Gloucestershire Wassail by Waverly Consort, from A Waverly Consort Christmas: Christmas From East Anglia To Appalachia –
What holiday is complete without some good old, wassailing? Take some apples, add some sugar and spice and you end up with something hot and nice.
2. I Wonder As I wander/Noëls Anciens and
3. Coventry Carol by Musica Intima, from Nativité
Two a cappella classics from a Vancouver based ensemble. Breathtakingly beautiful.
4. Angelus Ad Virginem by The Boston Camerata, from Sing We Noel
Founded the year of my birth, Boston Camerata is one of the oldest early music ensembles in the United States. The song is a medieval carol, with text that is a poetic version of the Hail Mary. Interesting Factoid from Wikipedia: AAV was the first piece of music sung at the annual Bracebridge Dinner, a lavish Christmas feast held for many years at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The song, sung as the guests entered the dining room, was selected by Ansel Adams in 1929, who was director of the pageant at that time.
5. Good People All by Anonymous 4, from Wolcum Yule – Celtic and British Songs and Carols.
Luminous and pure in tone. Play repeatedly.
6. Zat You Santa Claus? by Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue, from How Cool Is That Christmas
In which Buster Poindexter (alter ego of frontman David Johansen, of glam band New York Dolls fame) channels Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), fabled New Orleans trumpeter and titanic entertainer.
7. Winter Wonderland by Aretha Franklin, from How Cool Is That Christmas
‘Retha swings in this 1964 rendition of the timeless classic. Sleigh bells ring. Are you listenin’???
8. Good King Wenceslas by John Fahey, from Christmas Guitar, Vol. 1 1982
Local (Takoma Park, MD) folkie, bluesman and acoustic guitar innovator, John Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) picks apart this medieval carol and creates an off brand holiday classic. A must in any serious music collection, holiday or otherwise.