Friday, December 16, 2016

Music To My Ears

Thank Saraswati It's Friday!

"It's not a Les Paul, but it gets the job done, okay?"


"Can we GO somewhere, please? I'm COLD!"

When I was a young boy, one of the most meaningful days on the calendar was always December 16, because it meant that the distance to Christmas Day had dwindled to single digits.

I don't have those kinds of Christmases anymore, but I do still feel a certain urgency today, since I haven't finished my Christmas decorating yet.

As it has been for several days now, the weather is cold and overcast. No more time to wait for improvement, though. Rose Red and I have Christmas errands to run today...

Happy Birthday, Maestro!

Based on the cultural practices
of the time, it is generally accepted among scholars that Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn.

He is by far my favorite classical composer, and it isn't even a close race. His music continues to enrich my life and will do so until I depart this vale of tears...

"Unless I miss my guess, you also admire him as a curmudgeon, right?"

There is some truth to that, yes...

Feast Day

Statue of St. Adelaide in Seltz, Alsace

Today is the feast day of St. Adelaide,
one of the most consequential women of the 10th century. Born into a royal lineage, she was made Holy Roman Empress by decree
of Pope John XII.

She played a significant role in the expansion of the Church in central Europe, establishing several churches and monasteries during her regency.

Adelaide was canonized by Pope Urban II
in 1097. She is the patron of abuse victims, step-parents, and widows, among others.

Party Like It's 1773!

On December 16, 1773
a group of plucky Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians dumped hundreds of chests of tea into Boston Harbor.

The incident became famous as a symbol of growing colonial displeasure with the Crown. And we all know where that led...

"I don't get it. You don't even like tea."

It's a metaphor, quadruped...

There Is No Escape

From the delightfully off-kilter webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Until Next Time...

Some of my favorite Christmas songs are the ones that move me no matter how they are performed or by whom. "It Came Upon the Midnight" clear is one of those traditional songs that always transports me back to the innocent Christmas spirit of my childhood.

The version of the Edmund Sears poem with which most people are familiar is the one set to the melody "Carol," by Richard Storrs Willis. The version using the traditional English melody "Noel" is rarely performed in the United States, but remains popular with choral groups in England.

One of my favorite interpreters of traditional Christmas hymns and carols is the Irish musical ensemble Celtic Woman. To date they have released four albums
of Christmas music, and their vibrant live performances of the holiday repertoire are a staple of PBS programming every year.

In 2013 the group released the DVD  
Home for Christmas: Live From Dublin,
a 2012 performance filmed at the famous Helix Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

Today's send-off is that show's performance of "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,"
from the group's VEVO channel. Enjoy...

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