Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

My Christmas Gift to You

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:

Free Christmas Song Each Day

8 Responses to My Christmas Gift to You

  1. I am totally calling the authorities on you, buddy. You may as well just call it “Markster”! (Hey, that’s sort of neat. Maybe I’ll start calling you Markster. Well, no; it’s sort of dorky.)

    Good start. I’ve started a “Mark W.” folder in my Music folder and will be downloading daily. Look at me and my new found digital musical competence! I rock! Or, maybe I chant. Or something.

  2. Simon – Call ’em. I don’t think the Mounties have much jurisdiction down here. =()

    Sorry, but I had to point out that I just reminded myself of the line, “juris my diction,” or something to that effect. One of the cops at the beginning of The Matrix said it to Smith. Not sure if that’s where it first appeared, but it’s funny, and now I can’t use or hear that word without thinking of that phrase.

  3. The posted song is absolutely outstanding, if a bit short at around a minute.

    I want them all… and I WANT THEM NOW! *LOL*

    Great singing Shan! *S*

  4. Truly beautiful, Mark, thanks for sharing. And truly impressive Shannon…thanks for singing. I’m looking forward to collecting the whole set.

  5. Hey Mark, “You gonna give me any of that ‘juris my diction’ crap, you can shove it up your ass!” (The senior lieutenant in the opening scene of The Matrix, talking to Agent Smith.)

    And you have no idea how long the arm of law can be when it comes to the Mounties. We have horses!

  6. Dave – Yep, I figured a short, faster song would serve as a good attention-getter. I’ve had a chance to sleep on it, and I may try to put out more than just one song per day, especially with the response it’s received so far. We’ll see.

    Moksha – My pleasure. My lady’s got pipes.

    Simon – Yep, that’s the line!

    Bring on the Mounties. They’re no match for the Texas Rangers (the law enforcement dudes, not the baseball team).

  7. Sorry Mark, any time I hear Texas Ranger, the image is ruined by Chuck Norris. Mind you, he’s so powerful, he could probably defeat Canada’s entire contingent of Mounties all by himself. And then bitch-slap the Canadian Armed Forces who get called in to back up the Mounties. All that after tying his own leg behind his back because he likes a challenge and didn’t want the contest to seem unfair. But c’mon… it’s Chuck Norris!! His tears cure cancer, for goodness’ sake! (Too bad he’s never cried.)

  8. Simon – Yeah, Chuck has forever ruined that name for many of us.


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