Monday, December 10, 2012

About the Twelve Days

~~The Twelve Days of Christmas Have Landed in the Window at Savor the Flavor~~
According to Wikipedia, the specific origins of The Twelve Days of Christmas, first published in England in 1780, are unknown.  While it is considered an English carol, it is likely of French origin. It is thought to have been a "memories and forfeits" game, in which verses in a song became increasingly more complex, and the person who is unable to keep up has to forfeit something, e.g., a kiss or a sweet. 

Historically, there are many variations on the twelve gifts that are given, and there are even variations on who gives them (for example, "my true love" vs. "my mother").  In recent years, e-mails have circulated, claiming that there is a deeper meaning to the Twelve Days; however, it appears that this is simply rumor.

This weekend, we were fortunate to see the Los Angeles Master Chorale perform their Festival of Carols at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Conductor Grant Gershon introduced each of the songs.  When he got to this one he began by saying, "Each year, as I program the music for our performances, I try to stay away from annoying songs.  But this one is a very snappy version, so bear with me!"  The audience laughed (because, really, who doesn't think this one is tedious?), and then the chorale wowed us with John Rutter's version of the carol.  I was hooked. 

I found a recording of the version that the Master Chorale sang, from an album entitled "The Colours of Christmas."  It featured The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Bach Choir, with John Rutter directing.  I find it to be a very nice three minutes.  Let me know if you agree!


6 comments:

  1. I can't believe that one's true love wouldn't give some kind of Sony Playstation-related gift...

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    1. Yes, a "true" true love would do that, for sure!

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  2. i'll have to come back and listen...i'm trying to be quiet in here, people are still sleeping :) interesting history though on the song!

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  3. Hooray, I'm enjoying a real lunch break, so this sweet and festive song was perfect to get things going! I love live music anytime of year, but there's something special indeed about holiday concerts - sounded like great fun!

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you got to hear it! I love holiday concerts, too, and this one was absolutely amazing.

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