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Author Topic: Favorite Christmas Carols
TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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We all complain about tue super-saturation of Christmas carols on TV and in stores, but do you have a favorite or two you never get tired of hearing?

I'm not a very religious person, but odddly enough my favorite Christmas carols are the older ones that are practically hymns. Most of the modern, secular carols don't do much for me. The religious ones that have been overcommercialised (like Joy to the World) are also not among my favorites.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Carol of the Bells
O, Holy Night
O Come, O Come, Emmauel
O Come All Ye Faithful
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Rise Up Shepherds and Follow

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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O Come All Ye Faithful
Angels from the Realms of Glory
The Friendly Beasts (sound effects are a must!)

I've actually switched which service I attend on Sundays so I can get my Carol fix!

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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I like me a gloomy Christmas -- especially medieval, or faux-medieval. The Coventry Carol is my top favorite, with "O Come O Come Emmanuel" in close second.

I also like "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Carol of the Bells" for some more up-tempo minor key caroling.

And, who can forget the great Communist carol, "Masters in this Hall" -- also a favorite (though hard to find recordings of)?

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Maddie
Rejoice, Rejoice, I've Found the Manuel!


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Ah, we sang 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' today in church & I was quite happy.

I like any song with really high notes, like 'First Noel', because I'm a soprano & like to show off my soprano-ness [Big Grin] .

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"I'm sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman." - Royal Tenenbaum

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DadOf3
Jingle Bell Hock


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Religious:
Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night
Angels We Have Heard on High
Joy to the World (sorry, TallGeekyGirl)
O Come, All Ye Faithful
O, Little Town of Bethlehem
Do You Hear What I Hear?

Secular:
The Christmas Song (that's the one that starts with, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire")
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
White Christmas
I'll Be Home for Christmas

Really, I could go on and on in both lists. I love all the mall and seniors' home singouts my quartet gets at Christmas time.

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Loyhargil
We Three Blings


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O Holy Night
O, Little Town of Bethlehem
The Christmas Song
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

The first one brings me to tears every time. The last three, when done right, can be so light, peaceful, and wimsical.

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Elsie
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I really love "O Holy NIght". "The Little Drummer Boy" still makes me cry EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear it.

An then there's a song that I rarely ever hear and don't know the name of. I first saw it used in a Publix Christmas ad about 15 years ago with a little girl dreaming about a perfect holiday. The only lyric I can remember is "...may all your dreams come true."

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I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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It would be easier to list which caroles I don't like or like the least, as it were.

I'm not a big fan of Silent Night unless it's sung by children. If it's sung by children I love it. I hate singing it since I became and adult.

I guess that's it. All the rest I like. And I love to sing them (though no one wants to hear me).

I would add to the list Go Tell It On the Mountain.


I absolute love "The Christmas Song". I get tears in my eyes the first time I hear it every year.

I think "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is the saddest song ever written. I get tears in my eyes every time I hear it.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Ukrainian Bell Carol. It is one of the few in a minor key. Love that sound.

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And now for something completely different...

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DadOf3
Jingle Bell Hock


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Sara -

My quartet was doing a Christmas show at a luncheon when I was home last weekend. As I was introducing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" it occurred to me that it would be good to dedicate the song to our troops in Afghanistan. Fortunately, it also occurred that if I said that with no warning, none of us would have been able to finish the song!

Elsie, could that have been "Christmas Is ..."? It ends with "May all your wishes come true". Here's a link to the lyrics:
http://www.songs.panachio.com/xmas/ChristmasIs.htm

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TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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Thanks, Dadof3. I'd forgotten to mention Hark the Herald Angels Sing. That's on my list of faves.

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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NorthernLite
We Three Blings


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My favourite Christmas carol is "What Child is This?" I prefer the version that has the three different chrous parts.

My favourite nonreligious christmas song is "Silver Bells".

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You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. -Blazing Saddles

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ladyknight
The First USA Noel


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I love O Come, O Come Emmuanuel and Silver Bells.
ETA: I almost forgot Do You Hear What I Hear. How could I forget that?

My alma mater (Gustavus Adolphus) does a program called Christmas in Christ Chapel on the first weekend of December. Every year, they end the program with O Come All You Faithful. Just about every senior in the choirs, and many in the audience as well, cries during the song on the last night because it's the last time they'll sing/hear it while at college. For those associations, I like that song.

Of the more current songs, I like Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and Jingle Bell Rock. I also heard a song, Two-Step 'Round the Tree, the other day that's the first country Christmas song I've heard and liked. I'm more Western than I care to admit at times.

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Triumphs cannot be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds, and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. -- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold

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DadOf3
Jingle Bell Hock


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Oh, I love "Holly, Jolly Christmas". Actually all the songs by Johnny Marks that were in the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" special were great:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Silver and Gold
A Holly, Jolly Christmas
Jingle, Jingle, Jingle
The Most Wonderful Day of the Year
We Are Santa’s Elves

And before anyone says Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree wasn't in the special, it was there instrumentally. When the young deer are getting ready for the reindeer games, when Rudolph and Fireball are playing, the music is Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

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Kahuna Burger
I Saw Three Shipments


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Favorite is Little Drummer Boy, bar none. They don't play that one enough on the radio. Last year I bought an illustrated childrens book of it for my son (one or two lines per page with watercolors of the story) and I'm going to start reading it to him soon.

There is also an 80's pop song called Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses which I love. Its the "perpetually missed hookup all year brought together by last minute cranberry sauce shopping" song. [Big Grin]

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Elsie
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by DadOf3:
Elsie, could that have been "Christmas Is ..."? It ends with "May all your wishes come true". Here's a link to the lyrics:
http://www.songs.panachio.com/xmas/ChristmasIs.htm

I'm pretty sure that's not it, although, honestly, I know so little of the song (just the snippet used in the ad) that I sometimes don't immediately recognize it even when I hear it.

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I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

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TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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quote:
Originally posted by NorthernLite:
My favourite Christmas carol is "What Child is This?"

Aagh! I forgot this one, too! lol To the tune of Greensleeves, no less! [Big Grin]

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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JoFo
Joy to the world, the Wii has come.


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I love most Christmas music. There's no feeling like the feeling I get when I turn on the radio in mid November and realize that the holiday songs have begun.

If I had to choose my favorites:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (The Pretenders version is the best, most others are still decent though)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Feliz Navidad
Holly, Jolly Christmas

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I'm not paranoid, I'm just surrounded by enemies!

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by TallGeekyGirl:
quote:
Originally posted by NorthernLite:
My favourite Christmas carol is "What Child is This?"

Aagh! I forgot this one, too! lol To the tune of Greensleeves, no less! [Big Grin]
"Alas my love,
You have done me dirt,
For you sewed green sleeves
On my purple shirt."
I don't know who wrote that, but I get the giggles every time I think about it.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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Michael Cole
Deck the Malls


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There are of course, the two gun Christmas songs, "Jerusalem" and "Once in Royal David's City". Both need a very good baritone to be done well.

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Q. What's the difference between a Computer saleman and a Used Car Salesman?
A. The Used Car Salesman knows when he is lying.

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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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My all-time favorite is "Morning Star, O Cheering Sight!" It's probably because it's one of best moments during Christmas Eve Lovefeast. The lights go down, the candles come out...so pretty! The only way I have to play it before Christmas is an old music box of my mother's, or hum it incessently when it gets stuck in my head.

I'm also fond of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" for some reason.

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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NorthernLite
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Signora Del Drago, G.R.I.T.S.:
QUOTE]"Alas my love,
You have done me dirt,
For you sewed green sleeves
On my purple shirt."
I don't know who wrote that, but I get the giggles every time I think about it.

AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!
Greensleeves is probably my all time favourite melody. I just find it hauntingly beautiful. In fact, it was our recessional piece when DW and I got married. She looked very beautiful in her Renaissance style dress and the music suited her so perfectly. Unfortunately, her mother insisted on singing the little ditty above whenever we talked about our wedding music and it got stuck in my mind like an earworm on the day of the wedding. [Razz]

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You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. -Blazing Saddles

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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NorthernLite, I've always loved that melody, too. That little ditty kind of ruined it for me for a long time. I can hear the music now, though, without going into a paroxysm. Still, when I let myself think about it. . .  -

I love "The Little Drummer Boy" by Bob Seger. Gotta' be by Bob Seger.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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pilchik
Deck the Malls


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"Good King Wenceslas" brings tears to my eyes and I am an old guy and a non religious person.

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"20 years of boredom"

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Simply Madeline
The First USA Noel


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I tend to like either the very religious carols (O Holy Night, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, O Come All Ye Faithful), or the so-secular-they-don't-even-mention-the-C-word winter carols (Let it Snow, Winter Wonderland, Baby It's Cold Outside).

I also love Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John and Yoko, and Baby Please Come Home - the Darlene Love version.

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gamixa
I Saw Three Shipments


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When I was a little girl, I looooved "Good King Wenceslas", but since around '85 all I can hear is:

"Sprite makes brighter holidays!
Limon is the reason.
Sprite goes well so many ways
To bring good cheer this seeea-eee-sooon."

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asnakeny
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Traditional: The Gloucestershire Wassail ("Wassail, Wassail all over the town...") (link to one version of the complete lyrics.)

Modern: "We Need A Little Christmas" by Jerry Herman (and as covered by Kermit & company.)

ETA: And "O Come All Ye Faithful", but only when it is sung in Latin ("Adeste Fidelis").

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Is here no telephone?

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surfcitydogdad
Jingle Bell Hock


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Haven't seen this one posted yet:
Longfellow's "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

I don't hear that one often enough. It's in the LDS (Mormon) hymnbook,
but I'm lucky to hear it once each December.

I like Silent Night, but ONLY if accompanied by guitar - as intended - and even better if sung in the original German. Otherwise, it's actually my LEAST favorite. It's overplayed, and usually sung too slowly (which, for me, makes it hard to sing, and really boring to listen). I like the ones that are more uptempo.

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Only when we remake ourselves can we remake the world.
- Outer Limits (2001)

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rocksong
Deck the Malls


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Speaking of uptempo - and I'll probably be lynched for this - I love Boney M's version of Mary's Boy Child.
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Echinodermata Q. Taft
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I like quite a few of the ones mentioned. (Like TallGeekyGirl, though I am not religious, I tend to prefer the traditional or classic songs with religious themes to the more modern and secular, though there are exceptions.)

For modern songs, I do like Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" and "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. And "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses has been mentioned in another thread.

And I like "Silent Night" just fine, myself, if well done.

ETA: Oh, and the David Bowie/Bing Crosby "Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" is a definite favorite. More for the performance than the content of the songs...that, and the way it bridges the generations so wonderfully.

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surfcitydogdad
Jingle Bell Hock


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There's your key to Silent Night, Taft - "if well done" - but, in my opinion, it usually isn't.

Of course, I had to choose it to be one of my least favorites, and I'll always hear it plenty, and then choose for my favorite, "I Heard the Bell's," which I'll probably never hear often. Ha! Aargh.

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Only when we remake ourselves can we remake the world.
- Outer Limits (2001)

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (preferably sung by Randy Travis, which is strange as I don't like anything else he sings).

The Musicbox (on Trans Siberian's 'The Christmas Attcic' CD)

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Loyhargil:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

... when done right, can be so light, peaceful, and wimsical.

Interesting you say that, because I don't find much whimsy in Judy Garfield's version at all. It's got that rather sad and soulful undertone she could put in songs, and is being sung basically to the soldiers fighting WWII.

I think it's that many modern versions change a lyric, from this:

Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow.
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

to

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

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surfcitydogdad
Jingle Bell Hock


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Thanks for pointing out that bit of social history, Brandi!

Context is so important, yet so often overlooked.

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Only when we remake ourselves can we remake the world.
- Outer Limits (2001)

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jw
The First USA Noel


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Adeste Fideles. (O Come All Ye Faithful)

We grew up close to a monastery. At Christmas time, they would invite the locals in to their well prepared carol sevice. I still get goosebumps and hairs standing on the back of my neck, recalling the awesome sound of 60 or so monks singing in 3 part harmony and second melodies in Latin.

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On my old guitar sell tickets, so someone can finally pick it.

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