I'm thinking about the carol "Long, long ago" quite differently this year after hearing this wonderful, in-depth look at the piece with Robert Hollingworth and Paul Spicer.
It's like plainchant at the beginning, isn't it? What a wonderful way to evoke the "Long, long ago."
And this carol-anthem, perhaps, gets overlooked somewhat in comparison to the incredibly popular "A spotless rose" and the other two carol-anthems from that set of three: "Sing lullaby" and "Here is the little door".
Yes, indeed, "Long, long ago" stands alone, and it is worth a closer listen this Christmas.
Long, long ago, oh! so long ago Christ was born in Bethlehem To heal the world’s woe. His Mother in the stable Watched him where he lay And knew for all his frailty He was the world’s stay. While he lay there sleeping In the quiet night She listened to his breathing And oh! her heart was light. She tended him and nursed him, Giving him her breast, And knew that it was God’s son In her crook’d arm at rest. Shepherds at the sheepfolds Knew him for their King; And gold and myrrh and frankincense Three wise men did bring. For he should be the Saviour, Making wars to cease, Who gives his joy to all men, And brings to them peace. John Buxton
There must be something in the air, because Church of the Advent, Boston, has just posted this very fine live recording of Long, long ago today.
And don't miss this wonderful, in-depth look at the piece with the score for you to sing along at home:
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