It's time for the Holiday edition of Tunesday. I am an aficionado of unusual Christmas music. Not that I don't love the classics. There are certain renditions of certain tunes that scream to be listened to each year.
But as my Lil' Bro used to tell me..................."you just like it because it's weird".
My amendment to that statement is.................."I like it because it's unique".
After a CBS Sunday Morning story a few years ago, I found this gem of an album. Sting with a collection of very old Christmas carols. This doesn't sound like anything else, and very little is anything you've ever heard. It sounds ancient and I love it. Lyrics are rich and thoughtful. I believe that's Chris Botti playing. It's like taking a trip to a castle in England, and listening to the minstrels. And how wonderful that someone has posted the entire album on YouTube for all you non-ITunes folks.
Dad, grab a glass of eggnog, or a cup of hot chocolate, and give it a listen. After the video is some info from Sting's website.
In collaboration with esteemed producer and arranger, Robert Sadin, "If On a Winter's Night..." features traditional music of the British Isles as its starting point. Sting and guest musicians interpret a stirring collection of songs, carols, and lullabies including The Snow it Melts the Soonest (traditional Newcastle ballad), Soul Cake (traditional English "begging" song) Gabriel's Message (14th century carol), Balulalow (lullaby by Peter Warlock) and Now Winter Comes Slowly (Henry Purcell).
Two of Sting's own compositions are also featured on the album, Lullaby for an Anxious Child and The Hounds of Winter, which originally appeared on his previous release Mercury Falling, alongside Hurdy Gurdy Man, - a musical reworking and English translation (by Sting) of Der Leiermann from Schubert's classic winter song-cycle Winterreise.
For this exploration of the themes and emotions of Winter, Sting is joined by friend and long time colleague, guitarist Dominic Miller. Additional guests include an ensemble of three remarkable musicians from Northern England and Scotland: Kathryn Tickell (fiddle and Northumbrian pipes) Julian Sutton (melodeon) and Mary MacMaster (metal string Scottish harp), along with Daniel Hope (violin), Vincent S?ï¿½gal (cello), Chris Botti and Ibrahim Maalouf, (trumpet), Cyro Baptista and Bijan Chemirani (percussion), the Webb Sisters (vocals) and Stile Antico (vocal ensemble).
Lyrics are here.............http://www.sting.com/discography/album/365/Albums