Snow seldom comes this early in the knobs, with the winter solstice still a couple of weeks away, but we woke this morning to a couple of inches, white and crisp as linen sheets over lawn and trees and as far on the horizon as one could see. Mom called Sis; the Princess and her friend Miss V had been out playing in it since 8:30, coming indoors occasionally to warm up and gulp hot chocolate, then back out they went. Brother Olde Hippie notes ironically, "White stuff on the ground. Is this what the oldtimers call SNOW?"
It also gave me my theme for Saturday music. The Irish-Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt has, over the course of her career, recorded several winter-themed songs.
One such is "Snow", with lyrics by the Canadian poet Archibald Lampman, (1861-1899). Originally recorded on her 1987 CD TO DRIVE THE COLD WINTER AWAY, it was rerecorded in a slightly different form on 1995’s A WINTER GARDEN.
The wistful carol "In the Bleak Midwinter" was written by the English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) sometime before 1872, although it was not published until a decade after her death. Rossetti titled it "A Christmas Carol" but it is more usually known by its opening line. Set to music in 1906 by the Swedish-British composer Gustav Holst, it is performed here as an instrumental, from McKennitt’s 2008 album A MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM, on which songs from A WINTER GARDEN were reprised and augmented by new recordings.
Now, in mid-afternoon, the sun is peeking out and the snow is melting rapidly, dripping steadily off the roof—an ephemeral but lovely gift from Old Man Winter.
6 years ago