'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,
'Ff'lo
fflo

dropped the flashlight/lantern square on Manny's head; Christmas carols

It looked pretty bad, when it happened, the impact and his reaction, but he's not acting especially weird now, glad to say. Shakes his head a little, and doesn't want me to feel it for bumps too much, but that's all. I've stopped short of researching symptoms of concussion in cats.

He's not playing with the kits tonight, as they're in their room, resting after vaccination. I was told to watch 'em close, but it's the older guy I've been looking deeply into the eyes of. Kittens, no bad signs either.

In the car when they were restless I sang to them. Sometimes with restless mewers I sing, cuz I heard once it's cross-culturally considered beautiful (like, tested in the Trobriand Islands, or like that), "Silent Night." I heard that about human cross-cultural recognition of its beauty, and I heard that music soothes the savage beast, and put 'em together and you get singing Silent Night to crated creatures. That's not an easy song to sing, folks. And in the second verse, the one with the fetching lines (in the traditional English version) "Shepherds quake/At the sight," I can never remember the line that follows that, so I take advantage of the slow tempo and use the pause time to think of a line that'll rhyme with the coming "Heav'nly hosts/Sing hallelujah." Yeah, it's usually something irreverent, but it's delivered with earnestness and deadpan trying to sing nice, cuz it's supposed to be (all universally) beautiful, and soothe the savages.

Tonight I tried "O Holy Night" briefly, which is fun to sing, if difficult, and a favorite for me in the shower---it's another I know the second verse of, which is a good second verse, being against slavery & all. But it was too dramatic for the kittens, I guess. They didn't mind my prob'bly-favorite Christmas carol, though: "O Come All Ye Faithful." I like that second verse, too, with citizens of hehhh-ehhh-vnabove. Citizens! Ha. Always sounded so civic-duty to me as a kid. Like up in heaven some (no-longer-)people are better citizens than others, voting, and helping old ladies across the cloud, stuff like that.

I like to sing Christmas carols in the car with a ladylove when you're driving late into the night trying to stay awake and it's not Christmastime. Or other times in the car, with people, or by myself. With people it's fun to see how long people can keep thinking of one. Of yet another. That eats up some highway.

Once Denise made a handful of us, through the force of her personality and my joining in, learn the parts for a Christmas round of a somewhat obscure olde Englishey backgrounde. I shall now livebloggoogle it for you and me, based on the opening lyric (click for the experience) "At the break of day in proud array".

Hmm. Seems it's a less common translation of the March of the Kings, sometimes going by the March of Turenne. Funny, that's my vet's name. Turenne. I can't find anybody doing it as a round, which is kind of a bummer. It's a little complicated to get down that way, but worth it.

Here's the lyric as Denise had it, had us sing it, except I like to substitute an extra "mighty" in for "holy" in the last line, about the holy babe of Bethlehem. I'm keeping the all-caps I copied and pasted not just for ease but because I like its shoutiness.

AT THE BREAK OF DAY IN PROUD ARRAY
WE MET THREE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST, THREE MIGHTY MONARCHS
AT THE BREAK OF DAY IN PROUD ARRAY
WE MET THREE MONARCHS RIDING ON THEIR WAY
THEIR ARMS GLEAMED BRIGHTLY WITH GOLD AND SILVER
THEIR JEWELED ROBES WERE GLIST'NING IN THE SUNLIGHT
AND WE MADE HASTE TO-OO FOLLOW THEM,
TO SEEK THE HOLY BABE OF BETHLE- HEM

ON THEY MARCHED, THEIR FLAGS WERE FLYING FREE
THEIR DRUMS WERE BEATING, THE TRUMPETS SOUNDING
AND ON THEY MARCHED, THEIR FLAGS WERE FLYING FREE
AS ON THEY TRAVELED, THOSE MIGHTY THREE
THEIR ARMS GLEAMED BRIGHTLY WITH GOLD AND SILVER
THEIR JEWELED ROBES WERE GLIST'NING IN THE SUNLIGHT
AND WE MADE HASTE TO-OO FOLLOW THEM,
TO SEEK THE HOLY MIGHTY BABE OF BETHLE- HEM


It's really old. It's also all minor-key serious.

It really is a march of a march. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, ... mighty bam bam bam.

I didn't think to test it for savage beast soothing.

Okay, when Bizet used the melody in his L'Arlesienne, Suite No. 2 (Farandole), the round is in there. It's the beginning part, see video below, that repeats off and on. The round version starts at about 0:24, with the second time through what matches the first four lines quoted above.

And from answers.com:
"The melody of this traditional Christmas song dates back to thirteenth century France, and the anonymous text to it was probably written around the same period because it contains indirect references to the Crusades. A second version, probably dating to the post-Renaissance era, strips away those references and the original's more militant language, turning its focus more to the Three Kings and the birth of Christ. Bizet used this carol's famous melody in his incidental music for L'arlésienne, and it is also familiar to listeners from various other incarnations. In March of the Kings, the melody has an undeniably martial manner, hardly coming across as the theme to a Christmas carol. With its march-like gait and rousing sense of determination, it seems better matched to the militaristic side of the original version than to the softer language of the second rendition. Still, the melody is hardly cold or without charm -- it is colorful and lively and instantly striking, one of those tunes that linger in the ear long after a single hearing. This song will appeal strongly to folk and traditional song enthusiasts."~ Robert Cummings, Rovi



Bizet gets to the gleaming arm part around 1:58. All that lilty airy stuff is the stuff that's not from the old melody.

I like this crew performing it at that cool-looking bricky space. Deutsch-Niederländische KammerPhilharmonie. :) They seem to be having a fine time, and making beautiful stuff. And sunflowers! Why not.

Otis Klöber, conductor. You go, Herr Professor Conductor Otis.
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