Friday, December 12, 2014

CAROL : the sussex carol

And thou shalt have joy and gladness; 
and many shall rejoice at his birth.

As my heart turns to the more celebratory songs of Christmas, it's the carols that are real carols -- music for dancing to -- that come first to my mind.  A carol traditionally had a certain happy shape, a clear resounding refrain and a joyous rhythm to set feet into motion.   

But no one I know ever dances to Christmas carols now.  Heck, hardly anyone I know even walks out into the starry night singing carols. 

I've gone caroling with a group of friends when I was a teenager.  I've taken my children caroling once or twice when they were smaller.  And once right before the girls left home as a last hurrah to childhood.  And once or twice someone has come caroling to me.  Who wants to stand out on a chilly doorstep listening to raw voices anymore?  

Maybe that's what we're missing in this sad world of ours.  The sound of children's voices.  Free and hearty singing under starlight.  And neighbors' kitchens we could trust the cookies from.  It's enough to wish for the collapse of the internet just long enough for us to learn to amuse ourselves with our own voices and in the company of our own neighbors once again.

for the whole carol in traditional dress, ready for dancing feet:

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