Advent Calendar Day 13 – The 12 Days of Christmas – a Conductor’s Christmas Nightmare, and Dear Nola (Solomons, Kelly)

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for more 12 Days of Christmas-themed silliness!

You get two videos for the price of one today, because I couldn’t decide which of these I wanted to feature.

On the one hand, we have Frank Kelly, with his classic ‘Dear Nola’ spoken word letter, in which Nola is simply too generous with her gifts, and we learn that birds do not belong in the house.  (This has the advantage of continuing the birds theme we’ve had going for the last few days, which is never a bad thing.)  But, if you are like me, you probably heard the LP of this every Christmas when you were little, so this is all familiar territory to you.

And then on the other hand we have David Solomons, who has written a piece called ‘The Conductor’s 12-Day Christmas Nightmare’, which is a fairly accurate description of what church and community choirs can be like.  My favourite part is the bit where five sang in tune, though the chorus of ‘sorry!’s at the end is also a highlight.  And also something that is frequently heard in the choirs I am involved in.

Enjoy your Friday!  It’s Christmas parties galore where I work today, so I hope yours is as much fun.


Advent Calendar Day 6 – 12 Days of Christmas Confusion

A bit of a change of pace today, because Friday is a day for Frivolity, or at least for taking a break from fruit-themed carols.  Though, of course, there is a little bit of fruit in this carol too.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is not an Advent Carol (in fact, it is referring to the 12 days between December 25th and January 6th, so it is decidedly post-Advent), but it is well known, and, as it turns out, is also the sort of carol that begs for parody.  Some of the parodies are alarmingly sexist (nope, not linking to that one), and others are just a bit of downunder fun for those of us who are in entirely the wrong season and don’t really know what partridges look like.

And then you get the really clever stuff, like this gorgeous Twelve Days of Christmas Confusion, in which the choir is arguing with itself, singing entirely different carols, and occasionally forgetting which particular feast it’s celebrating, all in perfect tune.

I believe that this particular piece was composed by Straight No Chaser, but I rather love the version by Angel City Chorale – it’s the girly backing vocals in the last bit that appeal.  Though Straight No Chaser has significantly more dreidel.  It’s a hard choice, but someone has to make it…

Happy Friday!