Submitted by Susan Miller on Mon, 12/21/2009 - 12:01.


One of my favorite Christmastime (St. Stephen's Feast is December 26) tales, songs is Good King Wenceslas. In 1989, two good friends, Billy Larkin and Chris Dahlgren, with a fabulous reader, Gary Barton recorded this on their cd The Next Noel. That music, now for 20 years, has been our favorite. It is obscure, but you can find it online. I tried to attach Ekimi's version for your listening pleasure, but my technology skills evade me. Here you can listen to a sample. Further, if you are ever in Cincinnati, be sure to look for Billy Larkin as he still regularly plays in various clubs there - a magnificent pianist, composer improviser.

The song is written by John Mason Neale an English clergyman (1818-1866)

Good King Wenceslas look'd out,
On the Feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
Deep, and crisp, and even:

Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gath'ring winter fuel.

Hither page and stand by me,
If thou know'st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?

Sire, he lives a good league hence.
Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes' fountain.

Bring me flesh, and bring me wine,
Bring me pine-logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither.

Page and monarch forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Though the rude winds wild lament,
And the bitter weather.

Sire, the night is darker now,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know now how,
I can go no longer.

Happy Holidays realNEO community!

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