2019 Christmas Countdown: Ding Dong! Merrily On High

Ding Dong! Merrily On High

Ding Dong! Merrily On High

“Ding Dong Merrily on High” first appeared as a secular dance tune known as “le branle de l’Official” in a dance book written by Jehan Tabourot (1519–1593). The lyrics are from English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934), and it was first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons. Woodward had an interest in church bell ringing, which no doubt helped inspire this carol

Ding dong! merrily on high
In heav’n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv’n with Angel singing.
REFRAIN

Gloria,
Hosanna in excelsis!
Gloria,
Hosanna in excelsis!
E’en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And “Io, io, io!”
By priest and people sungen.
REFRAIN

Pray you, dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers;
May you beautifully rime
Your evetime song, ye singers.
REFRAIN

Note: “Swungen” and “Sungen” in the second verse are archaic English verb forms.

 

2019 Christmas Countdown: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

 

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel is the mid-19th-century translation by John Mason Neale and Henry Sloane Coffin of the Ecclesiastical Latin text “Veni, veni, Emmanuel”.

The text is based on the Biblical prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 that states that God will give Israel a sign that will be called Emmanuel (Literally: God with us). Matthew 1:23 states fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

On December 9 ~ in Music History

today

Christmas Countdown: Mary Did You Know

• 1791 ~ Peter Joseph Von Lindpaintnerr, German composer,

• 1837 ~ Charles-Emile Waldteufel, French pianist, conductor and composer of dance music

• 1882 ~ Joaquín Turina, Spanish pianist and composer

• 1906 ~ Freddy Martin ‘Mr. Silvertone’, Tenor sax, bandleader

• 1915 ~ Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, German soprano

• 1926 ~ Benny Goodman’s first recording session was this day. He played clarinet with the Ben Pollack Orchestra on a tune titled Downtown Shuffle on Victor Records. Goodman, incidentally, was all of 17 years old.

• 1938 ~ Tatiana Troyanos, American mezzo-soprano

• 1938 ~ David Houston, Grammy Award-winning singer, actor

• 1944 ~ Neil Innes, Keyboard, singer, songwriter with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

• 1950 ~ Joan Armatrading, British rock singer and songwriter

• 1953 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded Young At Heart. The song was turned down by Nat ‘King’ Cole and other artists, believe it or not. It became a top hit in the U.S. in March of 1954.

• 1954 ~ Jack Hues, Singer with Wang Chung

• 1956 ~ Sylvia (Sylvia Allen), Singer

• 1956 ~ The Million Dollar Session was held at Sun Records in Memphis, TN. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered for an impromptu jam session. Six songs by the artists were recorded at this session. None of the songs was released for nearly three decades.

• 1957 ~ Donny Osmond, Singer with the Osmond Brothers, TV host of Donny and Marie, actor

• 1973 ~ Keith Moon, Rod Stewart and Roger Daltrey opened the rock opera Tommy in London. The show featuring Tommy, Pinball Wizard and other tunes, was so hot that tickets sold for $50 and up.

• 1984 ~ The Jackson’s Victory Tour came to a close at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after 55 performances in 19 cities. The production was reported to be the world’s greatest rock extravaganza and one of the most problematic. The Jackson brothers received about $50 million during the five-month tour of the U.S., with some 2.5 million fans in attendance.

• 2000 ~ Marina Koshetz, who followed her famous Russian diva mother Nina to the opera and concert stage and into the movies, died at the age of 88.

• 2004 ~ Country and Western singer Jerry Scoggins, whose baritone rendition of the theme song of “The Beverly Hillbillies” became one of television’s favorite tunes, died at age 93.

2019 Christmas Countdown: Mary Did You Know

Mary Did You Know

The Pender Choir sang an arrangement of this Christmas Carol December 2, 2012 and as part of the 2015 Christmas Cantata.

Mark Lowry wrote the words in 1984 when his pastor asked him to write the program for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. The music was written by Buddy Greene.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will walk again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM

 

On December 8 ~ in Music History

today

Christmas Countdown: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

• 1731 ~ Frantisek Xaver Dusek, Czech composer and one of the most important harpsichordists and pianists of his time.

OCMS 1865 ~ Jean (Johan) Julius Christian Sibelius, Finnish composer
Read quotes by and about Sibelius
More information about Sibelius

• 1882 ~ Manuel Maria Ponce, composer

• 1890 ~ Bohuslav Martinu, composer

• 1924 ~ Franz Xaver Scharwenka, German pianist/composer (Mataswintha), died at the age of 74

• 1925 ~ Jimmy Smith, Grammy Award-winning musician, modern jazz organist

• 1925 ~ Sammy Davis, Jr., American singer of popular music

OCMS 1939 ~ James Galway, Irish flutist
Read quotes by and about Galway
More information about Galway

• 1939 ~ Jerry Butler, Singer with The Impressions

• 1941 ~ Ray Eberle and The Modernaires teamed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra to record Moonlight Cocktail on Bluebird Records. By April, 1942, the song was a solid hit.

• 1942 ~ Bobby Elliott, Drummer with The Hollies

• 1943 ~ Jim (James Douglas) Morrison ‘The Lizard King’, Singer in the rock group The Doors

• 1946 ~ John Rubinstein, Tony Award-winning actor, composer

• 1947 ~ Gregg Allman, Keyboards, guitar, singer with Allman Brothers Band

• 1957 ~ Phil Collen, Guitarist with Def Leppard

• 1961 ~ Surfin’, The Beach Boys first record, was released on Candix Records. It became a local hit in Los Angeles but only made it to #75 nationally. The surfin’ music craze didn’t take hold across America for another year. By the time Surfin’ Safari entered the Top 40 (September, 1962), though, The Beach Boys were ridin’ a wave of popularity that continues today.

• 1963 ~ Florence Henderson and Jose Ferrer co-starred in The Girl Who Came to Supper on Broadway. The production, however, only lasted for 112 shows.

• 1963 ~ Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He was set free four days later. It was discovered that Sinatra, Jr. cooperated with his abductors in their plot. Dad was not proud, nor pleased. Frank, Jr. went on to conduct the big band for Frank, Sr. and all was well.

• 1966 ~ Sinead O’Connor, Singer

• 1980 ~ John Lennon was shot and killed on this day as he stood outside of his New York City apartment house, the Dakota. A deranged, obsessed ‘fan’ asked Lennon to autograph an album, then shot him as Lennon started to comply. The man was quickly apprehended by others gathered at the scene. A several-days vigil by hundreds of mourning fans is remembered as candles flickered and the song Give Peace a Chance was heard, a continuing tribute to the musician and songwriter of a generation. John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, together with New York’s officials, set up a permanent memorial to her husband: a section of Central Park, opposite the Dakota, named Strawberry Fields.

• 1982 ~ Marty Robbins passed away

• 2003 ~ Lewis Allen, producer of the Broadway hit “Annie” and winner of three Tony Awards, died of pancreatic cancer, his wife said. He was 81. “Annie” opened in 1977 and ran for six years. Allen won a Tony for it and for two plays he produced: Herb Gardner’s “I’m Not Rappaport” in 1986 and Terrence McNally’s “Master Class” in 1996. Allen also produced several films, including Shirley Clarke’s “The Connection” (1961), Francois Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451” (1966) and both the 1963 and 1990 versions of “Lord of the Flies.” He was an early supporter of “Annie,” which started life at a regional theater in Connecticut. Although that production received lukewarm reviews, Allen got producer-director Mike Nichols to join him in backing the Broadway version, which spawned the 1982 film version that Allen did not produce. Allen was born in Berryville, Va., graduated from the University of Virginia and served with the American Field Service during World War II. His wife, Jay Presson Allen, wrote the screenplays for “Cabaret” (1972) and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie”(1964).

• 2003 ~ Cuban pianist Ruben Gonzalez, who found new fame in the mid-1990s playing with Compay Segundo’s Buena Vista Social Club band, died. He was 84. Gonzalez’s keyboard gymnastics provided the heartbeat of the Buena Vista Social Club’s string of traditional Cuban “son” music albums beginning in 1997. The smallish man with grizzled hair and beard gained worldwide attention as the pianist on the opening album of the series, the Grammy-winning “Buena Vista Social Club.”

2019 Christmas Countdown: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

In 1850, Richard Storrs Willis, a composer who trained under Felix Mendelssohn, wrote the melody called “Carol.” This melody is most often set in the key of B-flat major in a six-eight time signature. “Carol” is the most widely known tune to the song in the United States.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessèd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

 

Another version:

 

On December 7 ~ in Music History

today

 

Pearl Harbor Day

 

Christmas Countdown: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

• 1637 ~ Bernardo Pasquini, Italian composer of operas, oratorios, cantatas and keyboard music.

• 1840 ~ Hermann Goetz, German Composer

• 1842 ~ The Philharmonic Society of New York, the first permanent orchestra in the U.S., held its first concert. Despite uncomfortable seating, the event was a huge success. They performed works of Beethoven.

OCMS 1863 ~ Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer and conductor
More information about Mascagni

• 1879 ~ Rudolf Friml, Musician, composer

• 1887 ~ Ernst Toch, Austrian-born American composer

• 1899 ~ Antoni de Kontski, Polish pianist and composer, died at the age of 82

• 1911 ~ Louis Prima, Trumpeter, bandleader with Louis Prima and His New Orleans Gang, Gleeby Rhythm Orchestra; songwriter, singer, married to Keely Smith

• 1931 ~ Bobby Osborne, Musician, mandolin, singer with the duo – Osborne Brothers

• 1942 ~ Harry Chapin, American folk-rock singer and songwriter, Recipient of Special Congressional Gold Medal, Worldwide Humanitarian for the Hungry, Needy and Homeless

• 1948 ~ NBC presented Horace Heidt’s Youth Opportunity Program for the first time. The talent show earned Dick Contino, an accordionist, the $5,000 prize as the program’s first national winner.

• 1949 ~ Tom Waits, Singer, songwriter, playwright, married to Kathleen Brennan

• 1954 ~ Mike Nolan, Singer with Bucks Fizz

• 1957 ~ Pat Boone was at the top of the pop charts for the first of six weeks with April Love. His other number one hits included Ain’t That a Shame, I Almost Lost My Mind, Don’t Forbid Me and Love Letters in the Sand.

• 1984 ~ Michael Jackson was in Chicago to testify that the song, The Girl is Mine, was exclusively his and he didn’t swipe the song, Please Love Me Now. It was a copyright infringement case worth five million dollars. He won.

• 1990 ~ Dee (Delectus) Clark passed away

• 2016 ~ Greg Lake, English rock vocalist and bassist (King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer), died of cancer at the age of 69