Twelve Drummers Drumming

I wonder if the "true love" in the song remembered to get a gift receipt.Image from was feeling indecisive, so you get something of a baker's dozen. Think of the second track as a sort of bonus track, or save it for the Epiphany tomorrow. Either way is good.I wasn't planning on singing this first one, but the tune for this American version of the Joys of Mary is fantastically haunting. I'd love...

Eight Maids-a-Milking

Can you milk swans? Or do the maids bring their own cows? I'm not convinced about all these presents.Image from I don't have much to say Ther is no rose of swych vertu by artsyhonkerREFRAIN: Ther is no rose of swych vertuAs is the rose that bare Jhesu.Ther is no rose of swych vertuAs is the rose that bare Jhesu.Alleluya.REFRAINFor in this rose conteynyd wasHeven and erthe in lyttyl...

Seven Swans-a-Swimming

I think it's illegal to eat swans over here, except with special permission of the Queen or someone important. I'm told the ones on Wanstead Lake were swimming quite happily today; I didn't get there to have a look, myself.Image from a little something to bring in the New Year. The Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols says "This may have been written for the rumbustious festival of the...

Six Geese-a-Laying

More geese!?This isn't the most popular tune for this particular carol; though it is in Carols for Choirs 1, I've never heard it sung in a service.Any mother will tell you that "no crying he makes" is a complete fiction; it's bad theology to imply that the Christ child was not fully human, as well as fully divine. But I like this tune, so here you Away in a manger by artsyhonkerAway in a manger,...

Five Gold Rings

Finally off the poultry! Though if you look closely there is the Holy Spirit, represented by a dove, in this stained glass window of the is very much a mixture of old and new. The words date from the 15th Century. The music dates from 2010 and is by one Chris Upton, who has released it under my favourite license, CC I Syng of a Mayden by artsyhonkerI syng of a mayden├żat is makeles,kyng of alle...

Four calling birds

As usual, no birds. I guess turtle doves just aren't nocturnal...Image from know about this piece of music thanks to Francis Roads, Tim Henderson and the London Gallery Quire, where I play serpent and occasionally sing a bit or wave my arms about.I've transposed it down a semi-tone for comfort, and am playing the instrumental bassline on the horn rather than a string instrument; a string...

Three French Hens

No, I don't have three French hens. I don't have three English hens. I don't even have one hen, of any description. I'm still eating leftover goose, if you must know.I've been eating leftover goose, and trying to catch up with the world, and getting discouraged about politics. The Saviour of the world may have been born but looking at the state of things, "salvation" is not the word that comes to...

Two Turtle Doves

Okay, there are no turtle doves in this file. Just me, and a serpent.The version I sing isn't exactly what's on that ancient manuscript; but it is good Resonet in Laudibus by artsyhonkerResonet in laudibusCum jucundis plausibusSion cum fidelibusApparuit quem genuit Maria!Christus natus hodieEx Maria VirgineSine virili semine:Apparuit quem genuit Maria!Pueri, concinite,Nato Regi, psallite,Voce pia...

Multi-tracking chant experiment

This is a brief experiment with multi-tracking Creator lucis optime (English) by artsyhonkerYou see, I've got this hare-brained idea about podcasting a sung Compline online, possibly in some kind of Whitacre-style virtual choir. That's hard to coordinate, with chant: the pulse is directed by the words, so metronome markings are no help, for starters. But gathering together a little schola...