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December 3: O Come all Ye Faithful December 3, 2010

Posted by contrapuntalplatypus in About Me, Advent Calendar of Carols, Language, Music, Teaching.
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…Time for a more “traditional” carol.

This is one of the earliest carols I remember learning – one of the first in my “Wee Sing for Christmas” book. One of my clearest memories of carol-singing is of walking through the grocery store’s parking lot towards our car with my mom, singing “Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation” and then asking, “What does ‘exultation‘ mean?”

It’s for this reason that I so regret the near-total decline in Christmas carol singing among kids. All the “traditional” carols – O Come All Ye Faithful, Away in a Manger, Joy to the World – use beautiful, poetic language and an extremely sophisticated vocabulary. No “dumbing down” or attempting to appeal to the “lowest common denominator.” ‘Exultation‘ is not a word your average child will use very often, true, but having this type of word in their vocabulary enriches their literary life immensely. At least, that’s how I always felt when reading books with new words… 😀

I also love the section of the carol that begins “O come let us adore him” – where just one person sings the phrase, then another joins in, and finally the whole choir repeats it together. “O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.” It’s a beautiful musical moment and one that makes this carol ever-popular…and rightfully so.

Enjoy! This is the King’s College Choir of Cambridge.

– The Contrapuntal Platypus

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