12.18.2007

O Little Town of What?



I went to my first London carol service tonight. Candlelight shimmered and mulled wine simmered and the choir sang joyfully. They played my favorite version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" which is not the one I'm most familiar with in the States (I've now made it my mission to get this particular version from iTunes, because it has a melodic twist in one line of the song that makes it mysteriously beautiful).

Carol services in Britain are a bit different than in the U.S. I was happy with the Midwinter variation. I was okay with the different pronunciation of "Israel" (they pronounce it "Iz-rail" instead of "Iz-rile"). And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that one of the choir singers looked exactly like Mr. Bean when he wound himself up for the next line of the song. He leaned forward and his eyes and his mouth bulged open and it was weird but funny. All of this, plus the mulled wine afterwards, made for a delightful celebration.

But I was not okay with O Little Town of Bethlehem. Somebody didn't give the carol memo to Britain. Somebody needs to tell them that they sing it all wrong. How can you celebrate Christmas with the wrong tune for O Little Town of Bethlehem?

At least I got to come home to our new little Christmas tree that sits on our windowsill. Thanks for the ornaments, mom :)

1 comment:

Becky said...

Yesterday in chapel we sang "O Little Town of Bethlehem", and in the LW there are two versions - "Tune" notes on the first version label it as "Traditional English". Perhaps that explains it. Merry Christmas!