Merry Christmas


I know it is a little early, but i thought I had best post this before it becomes too late!

Shopping having given me a surfeit of Jingle Bells and the accursed Lttle Drummer Boy who can stuff his drum where the sun does not shine I take refuge in this, ‘Balulalow’, as arranged by Benjamin Britten.

It is a rendering of a Scottish carol, published in the sixteenth century in the ‘Ane Compendious Buik of Godly and Spiritualt Sangis’ though only the final verse is sung here.

O my deir hart, yung Jesus sweit,
Prepare thy creddil in my spreit!
And I sall rock thee in my hart
And never mair fra thee depart.
Bot I sall praise thee evermoir
With sangis sweit unto thy gloir.
The kneis of my hart sall I bow,
And sing that rycht Balulalow.

The full carol was a loose translation of Luther’s carol ‘Vom Himmel Hoch da komm’ ich her’, so I thought you might like to hear that too…

A merry Christmas to all of you kind enough to read this blog…and let us hope and strive for peace on earth.

Though I am not sure that I can summon up goodwill to the Little Drummer Boy…….

44 thoughts on “Merry Christmas”

  1. What’s unfortunate about Christmas music is the truly classic carols have been pushed aside for kitschy garbage which is played repeatedly on the radio and in department stores from November onward. About the only time many classics can be heard is at a Christmas church service, which means a vast majority of the population isn’t going to hear them. So we’re stuck with reindeer songs and drummer boys.

    Taking off my Scrooge cap, I hope you too have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

    1. I feel the same way…hearing ‘let it snow’ in a Costa Rican heatwave is not top of my pops.
      Because we had morning assemblies at school we were familiar with carols, even if not from churchgoing families…goodness only knows what the kids hear now…
      Have a great time!

  2. Hmmm! This uni-polar god is about as helpful to peace-on-earth as the US concept of a uni-polar world. They both bring surfeit of not comfortable rides but denizens of the Apocalypse! That said, thank you for your kind wishes and may you and yours and the rest of the human family enjoy a peaceful future.

  3. Helen, this year I have found myself loathing the surfeit (if you’ll forgive me its use) of everything ‘Christmas’. I decided that since everyone was celebrating so visually and so early, I would be charitable and assume they were celebrating winter, as I have decided to do – along with the solstice, sol invictus and all that.
    I love the Britten, thank you. I have an ancient record with an ancient song ‘To Drive the Cold Winter Away’ which I wish I could share with you. Though of course you are probably not cold.
    And so, early but better so than never, I wish you and Leo a very merry Christmas and I hope (against hope) that there will be peace on earth.

    1. We can all hope for peace, but it will take a lot of action to dislodge from power those who care ony for the conflict which fills their pockets.

      That song was new to me…I found it on Youtube and thought it beautiful…no wonder it is a favourite of yours in this season.

      Enjoy your Christmas…and don’t break any more limbs!

  4. Peace is, I note, a rare and fleeting thing.
    But good friendship, both corporeal and cybernetic, is to be valued. I’ve encountered some real gems floating through the ether and sharing my path in the real world.

    Here’s to those; long may they keep us sane!

  5. Helen, I’ve been by three times and found nothing to say. It is a sweet lullaby, and the world, bluntly, sucks. That’s it, though. Tomorrow’s another day, oh my dear heart.

    1. The world I knew has been let go to hell in a handcart and if I could get my hands on those doing the pushing there would not be very much Christmas spirit about…

      Thank goodness there is a tomorrow to look forward to!
      I wish you had been with us in Guatemala…you would have enjoyed the textiles.

      Take care of yourself!

  6. Wishing you both a very happy Christmas as well and hoping the little drummer boy s drum is broken :-). Wishing you all the best for 2018 and that Leo’s health improves. Take care Diane

  7. Wishing you both a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year. Thank you for the carols, especially the Britten sung by that glorious treble. I really must get myself a CD of the Ceremony of Carols to replace my worn-out cassette.

  8. A little drummer boy has just walked slowly past my window, he did not look very comfortable…

    Your blog is the first to be read, keep up the good work.
    Merry Christmas to you and Leo, the dogs, sheep, chickens…..

    1. I’m surprised that he can still walk….
      Thank you for your kind wishes….from us and the menagerie.
      You will be delighted to know that now we have put Oliver the lamb with the others and reduced his milk intake he comes to bleat outside the bedroom window every morning at 5.30…

  9. When I hear the voices of trained choristers from any of the great cathedral choirs, for a moment I can forget myself and believe there really might be something upstairs. Thank you Helen. That is the true spirit of the season. I wish you and Leo and the dogs a wonderful Christmas (sans plastic wrapped excuses for seasonal music) and all good things to come in the New Year. Thank you for being an enduring favourite blogger whose work I tuck away to give full attention to because I know there will always be a valuable gift to enjoy when I open it šŸ’

    1. Such a lovely compliment…I can only blush and disclaim.
      Cathedral choral music is something that does take you out of your world, I agree.
      Wherever you are, enjoy your Christmas and New Year, best wishes to you both and to the Bean, may she snitch many croissants!

      1. Thank you …. The Bean and I will be in Grenoble and she is looking forward to croissants being the mere start of her deserved feast. She is heartily in favor of those who understand that being a sneaky croissant thief is a skill and to be applauded not frowned upon šŸ˜‰

  10. I like both but I have always had a great fondness for “Vom Himmel hoch”. Isn’t the tune by Michael Praetorius? And very similar to “Ein Feste Burg” I love traditional carols from all countries.

  11. Wonderful! And, possibly against the trend, I enjoy hearing Little Drummer Boy etc: it’s a) the fact that it all starts so early and b) the limited repertoire, that hacks me off. That said, Merry Christmas! – discovering your site has been a joy.

    1. I found one of this year’s recording of a posada…a local custom where people re enact the search for an inn in Bethlehem…and, blow me, the first song they struck up was the Little Drummer Boy!
      Like you I loathe the early start and the hackneyed repertoire….with so many beautiful carols why are we stuck with Tin Pan Alley’s commercial tat!
      I am glad you enjoy the blog…I thnk that the comments section is probably the best part of it!

  12. Oh dear, Helen. This is the first I’ve realized you have a blog! Solstice Salutations . . . even if a tad late!!

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