"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Saturday, December 24, 2011

That Night in Bethlehem

My favorite Christmas pieces to play are the songs I like to call "so traditional that nobody has ever heard of them". By this I mean songs that may be popular and have a long history in their cultures of origin, but for some reason have not spread widely to other cultures. On the one hand, you have pieces like "Silent Night", which was originally German, but is now sung wherever Christmas is celebrated-- and with good reason, because it's so beautiful. On the other hand, there are many wonderful songs that are virtually unheard of outside the place where they came from, but that somebody somewhere will be touched to hear again.

And so for Christmas Eve, and the last in this series of holiday harp videos, I offer the Irish carol which I happen to think is one of the most beautiful melodies ever written: "An Oiche ud i mBeithil". I have it on good authority from Tatskool's authentic Irish son-in-law that this is pronounced "an EE-ha ood ee MAY-hill". In English, it's "I Sing of That Night in Bethlehem", arranged by Sunita Staneslow.

video
"That Night in Bethlehem": Traditional Irish, Arranged by Sunita Staneslow ©2003, Used by permission.

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