Jack Frost Roasting in an Open Fire

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And if he isn’t already just give me the pitchfork and I’ll see to it myself.

If I hear one more blast of American secular Christmas songs when out shopping I risk bursting a gasket…

‘Let it snow’, indeed…as I step out of the shop into 35 degrees centigrade on the street.

The next rendition of Feliz Navidad by a choir of adenoidal children to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’ will bring out the Herod in me and while that fell dirge ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ seems to be less popular these days it can still spring out and drive the unwary to drink at any moment.

Oh for a decent carol!

And with that in mind, I would like to wish you a merry Christmas, to thank you for all the comments which make the blog a pleasure to write and to hope that you will enjoy this carol from the tradition of pub singing around Sheffield and the Derbyshire Peak district…..

Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells

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49 thoughts on “Jack Frost Roasting in an Open Fire”

  1. Much the same sentiments from this quarter. I am smote with dagger eyes if I say that children ought to be taught to sing if they are going to be foisted on an audience. Personally, I do have a favourite children’s choir…some years ago, I was invited to attend the school (where i taught reading,etc) Christmas party, with a special treat performed by the Grades 5,6,7 recorder group.Oops! Not expecting much more than severe ear ache…the recordists played old-fashioned tunes and the choir performed in sign language. It was brilliant (and quiet!) and wish more would take this road.
    Ah, well, we are driven my the money-makers…
    I do hope there will still be the good old Lessons and Carols from Kings College on telly.

    Merry festivities and feasting at the Bead’s hacienda. And go easy on the palfreys!

  2. All I have to say is I’m grateful I didn’t have a mouth full of any liquid as I read this or I would have laughed it all over my new computer and that would not have been a funny sight. Move over stand up comedians, here come’s Helen!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family. 🙂

    1. I was just so ratty after a morning’s shopping cursed by particularly hideous Christmastide noises…….if I could have reached the loudspeakers I would have done them a mischief.

      Have a lovely Christmas.

  3. I am so grateful that I don’t have to put up with all that. It would make me feel very Bah Humbug. The pub singing is lovely.

    Merry Christmas Helen and lots of love and good wishes for the New Year xx

    1. The nights are silent enough….but the land mines going off to announce the start of the fiestas in all the villages a round are enough to shock you out of any afternoon post lunch torpor….
      Have a lovely Christmas together and a super New year ahead.

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your man from the colonies where the forecast for Christmas Day is 32c. Hadn’t b…….well snow ‘cose I like it warm and have planned a salad picnic for lunch!
    And of course we have the Boxing Day test to look forward to – and enjoy winding up the Poms lol
    Look forward to your writings in the New Year.
    Cathy

  5. Scrooges of the world unite! It’s PF who’s going to be roasting on the open fire along with his collection of cheesy Christmas CD’s if he doensn’t stop doing my head in with his demands for matching bloody tablecloths and napkins. I’m off to hid under a bush in the garden – call me when Christmas is finished 😀

      1. There’s worse, Helen – I think I broke all the champagne glasses this year, too. Bugger it, I will suggest sharing a bottle with strawers like at Primary school. Thank you – I would have liked gold, but hey, I got somewhere!

        1. You will just have to drink from the bottle…pretend you are rap artistes…
          That networking machine is hard to beat so as most of us who follow you are not fanatical social networkers (having a life, that is) bronze was not at all bad.

  6. We were just debating, a Danish friend & I, that most Christmas music you hear over here is either American or British. Very little French Christmas music unless you count Le beau sapin & some dirge-like children’s carol, whose name escapes me but is dreary enough to make you want to slit your wrists as it goes on forever. Perhaps we are the lucky ones. We have serge Gainsbourg & Arnaud! Lord preserve us! Peaceto you all xox

    1. I see you are treating us to The Pogues….I wouldn’t mind that at all.
      For some reason Blogger won’t let me comment on yours at the moment…If I hear Jingle Bells in any form again I shall be round at their HQ with a Lochaber axe. Peace to all – with exceptions for IT ‘experts’.

  7. I will see your Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells with a Hail Smiling Morn, according to wiki, another Sheff/Derbys one, but it’s actually – AFAIK – a West Riding one, normally sung on Christmas Day (hence the name).

    I wrote about that and other Yorks music (of course) http://wp.me/p22GQH-jp. I do like traditional Christmas music (despite my lack of religion), and am not fond of American whatever they ares. But I do quite like Jim Reeves singing the little drummer boy. And I adore Mario Lanza’s gloriously over the top treatment of Joy to the World, Guardian Angels, and O Holy Night (which seems to be far too popular this year).

    Otherwise I tend to go for nice oldey ones. I sing of a maiden, Three kings from Persian lands afar, O come O come Emmanuel, and singing the descant part to Hark the herald angels. Luckily, we learned to sing at my school.

    1. I encountered the Sheffield pub carols through a family from those parts who had a holiday home nearby in France….a few of them stuck in the memory in those pre internet days (pre internet to me, anyway) so it is lovely to find some of them on Youtube.
      There’s a Holly and the Ivy of which I am most fond….

      Mario Lanza can sing whatever he likes – a glorious voice. My father went up to Edinburgh to hear a concert of his – one of the last he gave, I think – because he too loved his voice and always regretted that he had given up on opera.
      We were taught to sing too….two Welsh ladies of fanatical determination.

  8. I have to say I’m sick of every Christmas ditty, religious or secular. Firstly, I’ve heard them so many times they bore me to tears. Secondly, I hear them everywhere I go from the end of November onwards and it’s not long before I’m desperate for something non-Christmassy. Which of course makes me a party-pooper, a killjoy, an anti-social git and all the other predictable insults from the We-Can’t-Get-Enough-Of-Christmas brigade.

    1. I think Christmas should be Christmas and not the aftermath of Guy Fawkes’ Night…it’s the commercialism of it all that has our ears ringing with the same old stuff year after year.
      A bit of Dies Irae wouldn’t go amiss.

  9. Hi Helen, this lovely Pinterest photo drew me in…so warm and inviting. I also love the video, thank you! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Sending you a warm hug from Montreal, Canada.

    1. I liked that photograph too…a quiet winter fireside.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the video…you might like to look up more of the Sheffield pub carols – if only for the happy atmosphere.
      Keep warm, and have a lovely time….I hope the weather behaves itself in Montreal.

  10. Chiming bells is jolly but I do love “Bright Smiling Morn” I am trying to figure out when it dates from. 17th century I would guess. A friend of mine has been quite active in a village choir in Dorset which sings the traditional carols of the area. It’s wonderful stuff. Thanks for this post and have a lovely Christmas, Helen!

    1. There has been a radio programme on recently about the history of carols in England, which has been fascinating.
      I know Hail Smiling Morn – , but not Bright Smiling Morn. Is it on Youtube anywhere?

      And thinking of that I still remember a very old man in Suffolk who would refer to the sun as Bright Pheobe…..

  11. Being almost housebound has had its advantages, Helen, and being spared these horrors is definitely one of them. 🙂 I did enjoy your alternative.

    Wishing you and Leo a very happy Christmas and health and contentment in the New Year.

    1. And I very much appreciated your card…the frost rime on the leaf colour was lovely.
      Christmas Day has been – so far – as hoped for….crossing fingers for the rest of the day and limbering up for the next Test match…which if my calculations are correct comes on air at about six o’clock this evening.
      So it’s salad tonight.

  12. ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ and such like do constitute a ‘Human Rights Violation’ I understand and can be sued!

    A Happy Christmas to my favourite Blogger!!!!

  13. Some years ago I made up my own words to the dreaded song. They’re cruel and vicious and have been a great comfort to me in many a Christmas-infested shop ever since. And, I would add, a great amusement to the children I know, who all seem to enjoy a bit of scary irreverence:

    “Children roasting on an open fire,
    Jack Frost ripping off their toes,
    Tiny tots with their faces aglow,
    Wondering who’ll be next to go.”

    Hope this might help next year.

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