What’s your favourite Christmas carol? Why?

I got a related question in my feed a few weeks back. I passed, but I kept thinking I should answer.

Yesterday, Tamar and I had stopped off on the way to a work Xmas BBQ, for her to pick up cheese and for me to pick up caffeine. The shopping centre blasts out Christmas songs, which is… regrettable. Especially because it’s on the open street.

And suddenly, this strange Anglo-Latin twang came across from the speakers:

Gowdaytay gowdaytay kristoos est nahtus, day mareeeeah virgin-ay gowdaytay

It was horrid. I was going to banter at the café “I like Latin, and that ain’t Latin”, but the staff already knew to ignore my bizarre remarks, so I didn’t bother.

But I was intrigued, so I went on to YouTube.

What I’d heard was the Steeleye Dan (EDIT: Steeleye Span) version of Gaudete. Rocking it like it’s 1582.

And herewith, the first version I found after Steeleye Dan’s, that I actually liked:

The jaunty syncopation, the modality (pity about that musica ficta leading note), the stern verse: it is pretty awesome. I was playing different recordings from YouTube all the way to the BBQ.

Whatever you do, don’t listen to the Erasure remix; jaunty syncopation tends not to work too well with an unimaginative drum machine:

Btw, I’m a Bah Humbug kinda guy, but to all of you here, whether Jesus of Nazareth was to you God or a Prophet or a Deceiver or a Crazy Hippy: my Season’s Greetings to you. May you find some joy over the next few weeks—and hold on to it.

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