My favorite Christmas carols are all pretty old and obscure. Some were originally written in Latin. Sung by medieval monks, perhaps. Or Druids.
1. The Holly and the Ivy. Wikipedia calls it “among the most lightly Christianized carols of the Yuletide—the holly and the ivy being among the most familiar Druidic plants.” That’s right: I owe my favorite Christmas song to the Druids. When you think about it, though, maybe the Druids were on to something. They were into magic way before that Potter boy. Caesar took note of them. And while they apparently didn’t have anything to do with Stonehenge, I want to pretend they do, because that thing rocks. (No pun intended; you know I hate puns.)
2. Patapan. This could easily have slid into onomatopoeia gone awry territory, but I think it has just the right amount. You should take some Dramamine before watching the video, though. ‘Tis a little shaky.
3. In the Bleak Midwinter. The poem? Good. The song? Better.
4. Good Christian Men, Rejoice. This song was composed in either the 13th or 14th century. Pretty old by any standard. I prefer it a bit faster than it’s sung in this video, but you know what? Still good.
5. Of the Father’s Love Begotten. More music from the 13th century. Apparently I had a past life during the Middle Ages. The video cracks me up because, well, the singers’ outfits are hideous. Close your eyes and listen.
Bonus points to anyone who can sing this in Latin.