Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Corries, "Flower of Scotland": happy St. Andrew's Day

During the summer of 1975, after driving down from Ullapool, taking the ferry from the Kyle of Localsh to Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye (there was no bridge until 1995), and spending a long day touring around Skye, I checked into a hotel at Portree, had dinner, and retired at about 9:55. At 10:00, I was on the verge of sleep when the public bar downstairs closed, and the local people who had spent the evening there came out, gathered in the parking lot not far from my window, and sang "Flower of Scotland" in lovely, ale-and-whiskey-aided harmony. The version in the clip above, thanks to Iain40, is of the Corries doing the song, probably during that same year, in a fairly intimate setting in front of a fire that may account for the hazy quality of the video.

November 30 is the feast day of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"O come, o come Emmanuel"

Today marks the start of the season of Advent, and the beginning of a liturgical new year. Veni Emmanuel, typically sung at the beginning of Advent, is a hymn that has always sent shivers down my spine, even though I sometimes do a Spoonerism in the first verse, changing "that mourns in lonely exile" to "that lorns in moanly exile" (which actually sort of makes sense). In the clip above, thanks to Ikje86, it's sung by the choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.