Thursday, December 22, 2016

Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma, "The Wexford Carol"

Bluegrass great Alison Krauss here joins with cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma to perform one of my Yuletide favorites, "The Wexford Carol", with lyrics dating to the twelfth century and a tune probably older than that.

That a bluegrass musician should sing an Irish song is no surprise; the Appalachians and the bluegrass country to their west attracted immigrants from Ireland, most of them Ulster Scots, or "Scotch Irish", descendants of Protestant Scots whose ancestors had been "planted" in northern Ireland in an effort by the British crown to subdue the Catholic Irish.

As for Maestro Ma, listen to him in the Celtic groove with Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer on "The Green Groves of Erin/The Flowers of Red Hill".

To my Christian friends, merry Christmas! To my Jewish friends, on this year when our holidays coincide, happy Hanukkah!