I was listening to Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols while I drove to work yesterday. It is good stuff. There is even a harp.
But I cannot hear any of it without being instantly transported back to my high school days in the school choir in the second soprano section. One of my friends was every bit as funny as, say, Ellen DeGeneres. Funnier really. She could do an “opera voice” better than anyone, and many of these Britten tunes really begged for it. She could really get us second sopranos going–and by that I mean giggling, not singing. I’m sure we were the bane of several super-serious choir directors we tortured over the years.
This little Babe, so few days old,
Has come to rifle Satan’s fold.
All hell doth at his presence quake
Tho’ he Himself with cold doth shake.
For in this weak unarmed wise
The gates of hell he will surprise.
Here is a sample of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols sung by the boys’ choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was written, of course, for trebles (boys), but we girls did pretty well, giggling aside.
Gives you chills, doesn’t it?