Thursday, January 1, 2015

The New Year, It Hath Entered In....

You know what I really wanted to post for this day?  A video of Billy Boyd singing "Auld Lang Syne".  I thought I should be able to find one without too much bother. After all, the man sings, quite sweetly.  He's Scottish, and that is a Scottish song, and New Year's Day is a big deal in Scotland..... Well, let me tell you something. It is not easy to find. Quite the contrary. Indeed, if a recording of the wee man singing that particular song exists at all, it has somehow managed to avoid making an appearance on ze internetz - and in this day and age, no less. Apparently, miracles do still occur. 

So, since I canna welcome in the New Year with whimsy, I shall welcome it with an old  Welsh New Year's Carol called Levy-Dew. Benjamin Britten put it to music, so it was rather a challenge to find a cover of it that was not beautifully sung in four parts by classically trained voices. You are getting this version partly because it was one of the few non-choir versions I came across, and partly because I was quietly amused by the intro:

But I also wanted something a trifle more robust.  I had clearly in mind the sort of tune I wanted, but one of the discouraging things about being me is that there is a gulf between the sort of thing I like to listen to - ancient tunes with lots of history, sung by people with satisfying voices, enjoying themselves hugely - and what people actually sing - notably, songs for a swingin' New Year.  I don't swing, and a mere rotation of the Earth around the Sun is not enough to prompt me to change my ways now.  I found this, and while it is not an old tune, it has rather satisfying harmonies to it, and sings of bonfires with an enthusiasm that makes me want one myself - and not just because it is currently -2 degrees outside:

Please do not ask me why one video is so much smaller than the other. I used the same method for embedding them both, and got different results. I should be able to figure it out, as I am taking a coding class, but it is 9 am on New Year's Morning, and I don't feel like it. So there.

Wait... that preview is terrible. Oh, all right. Let me go have a gander at that html.... oh look.... the top one shows a width of 516 and the bottom one a mere 420.... let me just change that....  and hit preview again.... CACKLE!....     Behold, vids of the same size, for a balanced look. Might as well start the New Year off right, eh?

And on that note, I go to brew some cappuccino for the breaking of my fast. Happy New Year!


Miss Melody Muffin said...

Well, I could do without that sort of miracle. :) (And yes- THAT MAN'S SINGING- WOW.)

New Year's carols?! What a unique (and intriguing) concept!! And that is a beautiful song.

Happy New Year, Mahri!!

Maria said...

I know. Back in the day, Christmas Day itself used to be the start of the holiday. the celebration went on for a while afterwards - at least to New Year's Day, often through to January 6th, which was the day the Wisemen were believed to have visited Our Lord. In that older tradition, carols weren't just for Christmas Day, but for the season, and for special days within the season.

Thanks for commenting, and Happy New Year to you too!

Molly said...

I'm catching up properly on your posts at last (watching the videos), though somewhat in reverse order. I quite liked "Levy Dew," and the singers unhurried way with it. And it's hard to go wrong with a capella of the quality of that second vid. Did I ever show you the Unthanks' setting of "Because He Was a Bonnie Lad"? That is really the only song I knew by anybody of that name; nice to have a second fine offering.