Merry Christmas but what's that tune?

Rene Levesque Park, Montreal

The tree is beautiful, the turkey delicious and there's snow outside. We've had mince pies and to all intents and purposes it looks like Christmas. Out come the carol sheets and we settle down for a sing-song by the fire. But what's this? Oh Little Town of Bethlehem sounds like some sort of crooner's song from the 50s and not like a carol at all.

An icing sugar-frosty day in our neighbourhood.

That's because we are singing Canadian tunes and not British ones. Never mind. O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark the Herald Angels and The First Nowell are all bang on.
Then whoops, one of my favourites, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear appears to be some sort of dirge instead of the beautiful tune I am used to.
Frosty Notre Dame de Grace.

 Do I just keep quiet and join in the spirit of Christmas by singing the Canadian version. Do I heckers like, as we say in Blighty. I disgrace myself again by mentioning that I prefer the English version and thinking about it, I might have mentioned that the Queen sings my version too. I really am shameless. Even at Christmas.
Frost makes everything beautiful.


  1. this post made me chuckle...gorgeous photography by the way! Did you catch the Queen's speech?

  2. Hmm maybe you should just listen to the Carol of the Bells, no one knows the words to that one.

  3. Ayngelina I'm working on being better behaved for 2011. Really I am. I must be more Canadian, I must be more Canadian.....

  4. I have never heard Carol of the Bells. I will have to look that one up. Anne, you have the whole year to get ready for the Canadian Christmas Carol Singing.
    I'm not laughing. I promise I'm not!

  5. Nicola
    Next year I will be really well behaved and not mention the Queen once, I promise. Maybe I could play their weird carols all year to prepare myself?

  6. Anne,
    you are SO right about the Christmas Carol tunes! One can sing O Little Town of Bethlehem to the RIGHT tune ( Vaughn Williams' "Forest Green") or the sappy version ( by someone from Philadelphia!!)

    Of course my favourite carol is In the Bleak Midwinter by Hols, with words by Christiana Rossetti:
    Snow had fallen,
    Snow on Snow,
    Snow on snow on snow....

    Of course here in the west coast we sing
    Rain had fallen;
    Rain on rain.
    Rain on rain on rain.....

    Hope you have a wonderful Canadian New Year....and maybe you and Peter will bring your brollies and come and see us ....?


  7. Mary
    "sappy" is a great word. I am going to use it more. Thank goodness, someone who actually knows the composers who can back up my theory! Keep out of the rain. Lovely to hear from you.


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