Advent Calendar 2021 – Day 5 👼

Today is Sunday 5th December, and it has always been my custom to share Christmas Carols on Sundays in my Advent Calendar. But they come with a difference: you won’t see any church choirs here. Two of these have appeared in previous years, but I like both a lot and for that reason I’m sharing them again. I’m also working on the assumption that you won’t remember them, anyway, so I can get away with some repeats – if the tv companies do it, why can’t I? I’m giving you another weekend bonus of a third song today, and this is definitely a new one: the video was only published three days ago.

If you search YouTube for Angels From The Realms Of Glory the first few results are of the aforementioned church variety. This one comes a few down the results, and it is MUCH more fun:

Again recycling words I’ve used before, Maddy Prior has been a part of the English folk music scene since the late Sixties, and was a founder member of Steeleye Span, one of the two bands (with Fairport Convention) at the forefront of the development of our folk-rock tradition. She is still in the band but each Christmas – apart from last year, for obvious reasons – she has also been with the Carnival Band, who do a series of gigs putting their own slant on traditional carols. This is a typical example: they have a lot of fun doing these shows, and from the roar at the end it seems our typically stuffy British audiences enjoy them too! As a side note, the fiddle player is Giles Lewin, who was a founder member of Bellowhead, another of my favourite bands – they will be making a return appearance here too. I’m happy to report that Maddy Prior And The Carnival Band’s live shows have returned this year, as this kind of joy needs to be spread around at Christmas.

The brand new one is from a band I have included in my selections before, but not with this carol:

Blackmore’s Night is, as you might have guessed, partially fronted by a certain Ritchie Blackmore. It is a British-American traditional folk rock band formed in 1997, consisting mainly of Ritchie (acoustic and electric guitars, hurdygurdy, mandola, mandolin, nyckelharpe) and of Candice Night (lead vocals, lyricist and woodwinds). Their lineup has seen many changes over the years, but they are still releasing albums – their latest came out earlier this year. Their lovely music is a million miles away from Ritchie’s days in Deep Purple and Rainbow. Despite the twenty-six year age difference between them (he is now 76, she is 50) the two were married in 2008, having been together for nineteen years, since a year or two after they first met: she approached him for an autograph at a Rainbow gig. This is a track from their 2006 album Winter Carols, which achieved the great heights of #74 in the German albums chart and #56 in Japan, though it did also make #7 in the Billboard ‘New Age’ albums chart, of which you have all heard, right? It has been updated and re-released several times, including this year: this is one of a series of lyric videos they are releasing to promote the new record. I think it’s rather nice.

As I said at the outset, two of these are making a return here. This is the second of those – it is just so stunningly good that I couldn’t possibly omit it:

As I said when I selected this one last year, Annie Lennox is a singer who I loved when she was in the Eurythmics, but whose solo career has largely passed me by. I think this is amazing: the folk, almost pagan, treatment is very much to my taste, and her powerful voice carries the song so well. The video is brilliant, too. This was released on her album A Christmas Cornucopia in 2010. The album peaked at #16 here and at #35 in the US. This track was also released as a single, but only got as far as #126 here, failing to chart anywhere else. But it is a great way to bring today’s carol choices to a rousing finale. There has been very much a folk feel to all three of today’s choices – I’ve been in my element!

How about an image for the day? As it is Sunday, I’ll try to keep it clean(ish):

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll be back again tomorrow, and hope to see you then ☃️

46 thoughts on “Advent Calendar 2021 – Day 5 👼

  1. Pingback: Advent Calendar 2021 – Christmas Day 🎅👼 | Take It Easy

  2. Pingback: Advent Calendar 2021 – Day 22 🎅 | Take It Easy

  3. I love a bit of Christmas folk. I have the The Annie Lennox version of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ on my Christmas playlist. Its wonderful. It was nice to watch the slightly mad typically Annie video again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ll be seeing a fair bit of it here, then! I love that video – quite possibly her best, though she does seem often to go into ‘unhinged’ mode when someone points a camera at her 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m putting together a Christmas playlist on Spotify and you are certainly giving me some ideas, though I’m disappointed the Annie Lennox track isn’t on there. Never mind, keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to be helping, Paul! The Annie Lennox one is on Spotify, though – do a quick search for her discography and you’ll find her Christmas Cornucopia album. It’s a track on that.

      I’m not sure that either of tomorrow’s will be there, however!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So it is, found it! Fabulous, thanks very much Clive! I’ll look back at your previous advent posts that I’ve not had chance to look at and see what else you have on offer..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad you found it! Hopefully there will be others you’ll like in previous and future posts – on balance, I steer clear of the charts though I do allow them the occasional look in.

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  5. the first video was wonderful – much better than the original carol!

    I liked how simple the second song was, from the lyrics to the video.

    great video with the third song…

    I’ll keep that meme in mind if any carolers come to our door 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hadn’t heard of Ritchie Blackmore’s new career, although I must say I preferred him in his Deep Purple days. Never been a fan of Annie Lennox, but I do like Maddy Prior. On another tack, my son visited yesterday and said I must listen to Mark Knopfler’s Drovers’ Road. It’s superb – I think you’d like it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. All great! I think these versions of the carols are more like the originals. I can never get enough of the Anne Lennox version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Although I love I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing, (and this version is great, love the graphics!) it has always confused me as I didn´t think Bethlehem was a port town.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed them, Darlene. I think folk music versions often hark back to earlier times, and take out the ‘church choir’ feel that is more commonly associated with carols. You’re right, Bethlehem is many miles inland – poetic licence!

      Liked by 1 person

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