Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nearly Tuneless Tuesday

I'm just too worn out from trudging. Trudging in my great big snow boots along the icy streets, first with the dog, then with library books and packages to mail, then with Christmas shopping, then with the dog again. I hope to have a better post tomorrow.
However, I do have a little musical discussion for you. Onkel Hankie Pants has been sampling from our collection of Christmas CDs along with less seasonal material, to listen to at work. The other day he came home asking me what well-known (to us) hymn has the same tune as "O Du Froehliche" (the oe should be an o with an umlaut). I had to look it up and was surprised to find that the hymn was "Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing," the tune name of which is SICILIAN MARINERS. Even after reading this it took me a while to realize that yes, they are the same -- it's just that we usually sing "Lord, Dismiss Us" quite fast, and the German/Austrian boychoirs I like to listen to sing "O Du Froehliche" quite slowly.
Then he came home with another mystery. He'd been listening to one of Garrison Keillor's Christmas collections, the one where Walter Bobbie tells about his Polish-American childhood Christmases and sings a few of the songs. OHP said that one of the Polish songs had a section that sounded just like a Danish hymn he knew, and even sang a few words of it (in English). I listened to the Polish hymn and after a while, I realized what it was -- there were two lines of music that were the same, or nearly the same, as those in a Danish Christmas carol that Keillor also sings, in one of the other Christmas CDs he's made. So if you happen to have both Danish and Polish Christmas songs in your collection (or the two collections, Now It Is Christmas Time and A Prairie Home Christmas), you can listen to "Gdy sie Chrystus rodzi" and "Dejlig er den Himmel blaa" and see what you think.

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