Christmas Music: 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.

 

December 10 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

Christmas Music: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

• 1822 ~ César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck, Belgian composer and organist

• 1906 ~ Harold Adamson, Lyricist

OCMS 1908 ~ Olivier Messiaen, French composer
More information about Messiaen

• 1910 ~ Dennis Morgan (Stanley Morner), Singer, actor

• 1910 ~ Tenor Enrico Caruso and conductor Arturo Toscanini were featured at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City for the world premiere of Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West.

• 1913 ~ Morton Gould, American Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, conductor and pianist

• 1924 ~ Ken Albers, Bass singer with The Four Freshmen

• 1927 ~ For the first time, famed radio announcer George Hay introduced the WSM Barn Dance as the Grand Ole Opry. The show’s title may have changed but it remained the home of country music.

• 1930 ~ Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded the haunting Mood Indigo on Victor Records. It became one of the Duke’s most famous standards.

• 1943 ~ Chad Stuart, Guitarist, lyricist, singer with the duo – Chad & Jeremy

• 1946 ~ Christopher ‘Ace’ Kefford, Bass with The Move

• 1947 ~ Walter ‘Clyde’ Orange, Drummer, singer with The Commodores

• 1948 ~ Jessica Cleaves, Singer with Friends of Distinction

• 1949 ~ Frank Beard, Drummer with ZZ Top

• 1949 ~ Fats Domino recorded his first sides for Imperial Records. The legend from New Orleans recorded The Fat Man, one of the earliest rock and roll records. The title also turned into Domino’s nickname and stayed with him through his years of success.

• 1951 ~ John (Raul) Rodriguez, Singer

• 1953 ~ Harry Belafonte debuted on Broadway in Almanac at the Imperial Theatre. Critics hailed Belafonte’s performance as “electrifyingly sincere.” Also starring in the show: Hermione Gingold, Billy DeWolfe, Polly Bergen and Orson Bean.

• 1966 ~ The Beach Boys made a one-week stop at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 asGood Vibrations made it to #1. It was the third #1 hit the group scored. The others were I Get Around and Help Me, Rhonda.

• 1967 ~ Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays (Otis’ backup group) were killed in the crash of a private plane near Madison, Wisconsin. Redding was 26 years old. His signature song, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was recorded three days before his death. It was #1 for four weeks beginning February 10, 1968. Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. The Bar-Kays biggest hit was in July, 1967: Soul Finger. James Alexander, bass player for the group, was not on the plane. Ben Cauley, trumpet player, survived the crash. The group played for a time with various new members.

• 1987 ~ Jascha Heifetz passed away
Read quotes by and about Heifetz
More information about Heifetz

Christmas Music: 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.

December 9 ~ This Day in Music History

today

Christmas Music: Mary Did You Know

• 1791 ~ Peter Joseph Von Lindpaintner

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

• 1882 ~ Joaquín Turina

• 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.

‘Intervals Roasting’ – The Most Educational Christmas Carol Ever

music-theory-song

Music theory has never sounded so catchy with this witty remake of the holiday classic The Christmas Song (with apologies to Mel Torme) Try not to laugh at the ending.

Though it is a bit humorous, this version titled ‘Intervals Roasting’, with lyrics by David Rakowski, attempts to encapsulate the fundamentals of music theory in just over two minutes.

It does a good job of explaining the intervals and harmonic structure of the song and also gives you an idea of how to use music theory to analyze or compose music.

The O’Connor Music Studio has a copy if anyone wants to learn this 🙂

Christmas Music: 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

 

December 8 ~ This Day in Music History

today

Christmas Music: 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,

• 1890 ~ Bohuslav Martinu

• 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’ Safarientered 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.”