Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee.
I’m in the Christmas spirit more than usual this year. Becoming part of an international community will do that to you, I guess. For my part, I’d like to give one song per day until Christmas. They’re not the stereotypical jolly commercialized songs. You can hear those anywhere. These are pieces from the 14th century and up, some particularly religious, some not. Those that are not reverent are festive, and all are performed by chamber singers carefully selected from the larger University choir.
As it happens, my wife was one of those performers.
She doesn’t appear on all the tracks, as the recordings span several years of the group’s existence. She wanted to include a few of those because they’re particularly good. The few that have a slight hum I recorded from cassette onto my hard drive, but you forget about it once you get lost in the voices. The others I pulled directly from CD. I will note each song’s source, in case any anal audiophiles prefer to avoid the cassette-derived songs altogether.
I’ve created a page for the songs, where you may listen to a clip in the nifty embedded flash player, and/or download the full track to your hard drive with a right-click (or Apple-click, or maybe Option-Click, for you Mac folks). The downloadable version will be of a higher sampling rate, and therefore higher sound quality, than the preview.
I’ll keep adding songs through December 25. This gives me the option to easily remove previously posted songs should bandwidth become a problem. In other words, don’t get too far behind, lest you miss some.
By the time we’re finished, you should have a darn nice collection of holiday tunes, fit for burning to your very own audio CD or downloading to your favorite portable music player. Just in time for the end of the holiday season. Oh well, there’s always next year!
Without further ado, here’s the link to the free Christmas music page: