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December 24, 2023

 

CHRISTMAS 2023

 

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Brooklyn Christmas Bird of the Year: Purple Sandpiper

 

Purple Sandpipers are reliably present at Christmastime each year on the wave-washed rocky waterfront of my Brooklyn neighborhood along the Verrazzano Narrows. They breed in the far north, and Brooklyn is their idea of south for the winter; they arrive around Thanksgiving and stay into the spring. It’s their tradition.

 

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December 21, 2022

Best Wishes for the Winter Solstice and all of its Attendant Holidays

 


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December 23, 2021

 

CHRISTMAS 2021

 

 

On the Color Wheel

Red and Green

Are opposites

But the technical term is Complimentary Colors

They call across the Spectrum

And vibrate in one another’s presence

 

In a time of too much opposition

Remember how Red and Green

Resolve their conflict

Conjoining as the

Colors of Christmas


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​August 15, 2021

Today is the 100th anniversary of my Mother's birth.


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December 24, 2020

 


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December 23, 2019

 

 

CHRISTMAS 2019

 

Through Time, and Time Again

Christmas Recycles

One Year’s Tree

Is another’s Yule Log;

Yesteryear Fuels the Future

 


[link] [1 ref]

December 24, 2018

 

CHRISTMAS 2018

Sing We Noel Once More
 
I arose one morning in the early light
When the earth with frost was all shining white
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 
Then I went to find Guillaume my neighbor near
Tell me what’s that song you so gladly hear?
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 
I am glad to hear the nightingale’s sweet song
I have heard its notes ringing all night long
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 
Tis no song of nightingale or any bird
‘Twas an angel’s voice from high heaven you heard
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 
In a stable stall he told us born this night
Is the Son of God, come from heaven’s light
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 
Then I took my oboe and my flageolet
Guillaume took his lute and away we set
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 
Shepherds come with us, this little lamb to see
We will give him music, sweet melody
 
Sing we Noel, Noel, Noel
Sing we Noel once more
 

 The David Randolf Singers perform Sing We Noel Once More

Song of the Nightingale; may be confused with an angel’s


[link] [4 refs]

 

 

December 23, 2017

 

CHRISTMAS 2017


The Wren Song

The Wren, the Wren, the King of all Birds
Saint Stephen’s Day was caught in the furze
Although he was little his honor was great
Jump up me lads and give him a treat

Rolley, Rolley, where’s your nest?
It’s in the bush that I love best
In the tree, the holly tree
Where all the boys do follow me

We followed the Wren three miles or more
Three miles or more, three miles or more
Through hedges and ditches and piles of snow
At six o’ clock in the morning


Hunting the Wren on the day after Christmas is a Celtic custom believed to descend from ancient Solstice rituals

Custer LaRue sings The Wren Song with the Baltimore Consort

Winter Wren singing its own song

[link] [4 refs]

December 24, 2016

 


CHRISTMAS 2016

The Boar’s Head Carol

The boar’s head in hand bear I
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary
And I pray you my masters be merry
Quot estis in convivio

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino


The boar’s head as I understand
Is the rarest dish in all this land
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino


Our steward hath provided this
In honor of the King of Bliss
Which on this day to be serv’ed is
In Reginensi atrio

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

[link] [3 refs]

December 24, 2015

 


CHRISTMAS 2015

XMAS 15

The Holly and the Ivy


The holly and the ivy
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown

O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir


The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Savior

O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir


The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good

O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir


The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn

O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir


The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all

O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing in the choir


The holly and the ivy
Now both are full well grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown

[link] [1 ref]

December 24, 2014


 

CHRISTMAS 2014

XMA 14

Light the Hearth
Within Your Heart

 


[link] [3 refs]

 

 

December 24, 2013

 


CHRISTMAS 2013

XMAS SNAKE

The Old Year Now


The Old Year now away is fled
The New Year it is entered
Then let us now our sins down-tread
And joyfully all appear!
Let’s merry be this day
And let us now both sport and play
Hang grief, cast care away!
God send you a happy New Year!

The name-day now of Christ we keep
Who for our sins did often weep
His hands and feet were wounded deep
And his blessed side with a spear
His head they crowned with thorns
And at him they did laugh and scorn
Who for our good was born;
God send us a happy New Year!

And now with New Year’s gifts each friend
Unto each other they do send
God grant we may all our lives amend
And that the truth may appear!
Now like the Snake your skin
Cast off of evil thought and sin
And so the year begin
God send us a happy New Year!

[link] [2 refs]