Music Monday: The Wexford Carol by Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma

It was post-Christmas dinner. I was relaxing with a glass of wine and Scout while the guys knocked about pool balls in the basement. Happiness reigned as I listened to my Christmas choral classics. And then an angel’s voice accompanied by beautiful strings floated through the room. A wine-induced hypnosis? No! Alison Krauss singing The Wexford Carol accompanied by Yo-yo Ma!

What was the first thing I did? I ran downstairs to find the youtube video to share. And, now, I am sharing it with you.

Besides singing like an angel (and playing the fiddle like one too), Alison Krauss is one of those artists who manages to sing with people as disparate as Robert Plant (yes, he of Led Zeppelin fame) and Andrea Bocelli (of Opera fame) and create harmonies and songs that are brilliant. I had the good fortune of seeing the 16-year old Alison Krauss playing her fiddle at a Tom Rush concert at the Kennedy Center many years ago. If only we’d heard her voice then!

The Wexford Carol is of Irish origin from around the 12th century although this may be inaccurate depending on what source you read. Yep, it’s either really old, one of the oldest extant Christmas carols…or it’s not. If you’re at all curious, there are a number of sources sources sources to read. (Let me know your favorite. 😉 )

Up until the past decade, the carol has not been much played, but I hope that is changing. It’s a beautiful songs, especially when sung by the right voices.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,

The shepherds went the Babe to find,

And as God’s angel had foretold,

They did our Saviour Christ behold.

Within a manger He was laid,

And by his side the Virgin Maid,

As long foretold, there was a blessed Messiah born.

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