12/26/14 - NNHS Newsletter -
Happy Boxing Day!
getting bigger and bigger (Boxing Day) because of the gift card
- John Winter
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
Let's pretend we all celebrate this day.
BONUS #1 -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11GlNvi7hPY&NR=1 - Good King Wenceslas
- The Irish Rovers
BONUS #2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVob4l5m4Ps - Good King Wenceslas - Choir of Westminster Abbey
BONUS #3 -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdNcaO1iqsQ - Good King Wenceslas -
BONUS #4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4MWOpEXe5w - Good King Wenceslas - Yorkminster, 1995
BONUS #5 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKVU8BoKLMQ - Good King Wenceslas - Blackmore's Night
BONUS #6 - Good King Wenceslas - Mannheim Steamroller, 1984
BONUS #7 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXIh-4FqYXk - Good King Wenceslas - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
http://www.ehow.com/how_11775_celebrate-boxing-day.html - How to Celebrate Boxing Day
"Good King Wenceslas" is a popular Christmas carol that tells a story of Good King Wenceslas braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (the second day of Christmas, December 26). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by following the king's footprints, step for step, through the deep snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia or Svatý Václav in Czech (907–935).
In 1853, English hymnwriter John Mason Neale wrote the "Wenceslas" lyrics, in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore, and the carol first appeared in Carols for Christmas-Tide, 1853. Neales' lyrics were set to a tune based on a 13th century spring carol "Tempus adest floridum" ("The time is near for flowering") first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones.
Wenceslas was considered a martyr and a saint immediately after his death in the 10th century, when a cult of Wenceslas grew up in Bohemia and in England. Within a few decades of Wenceslas's death four biographies of him were in circulation. These hagiographies had a powerful influence on the High Middle Ages conceptualization of the rex justus, or "righteous king"—that is, a monarch whose power stems mainly from his great piety, as well as from his princely vigor.
Referring approvingly to these hagiographies, the chronicler Cosmas of Prague, writing in about the year 1119, states:
But his deeds I think you know better than I could tell you; for, as is read in his Passion, no one doubts that, rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went around to God’s churches and gave alms generously to widows, orphans, those in prison and afflicted by every difficulty, so much so that he was considered, not a prince, but the father of all the wretched.
Several centuries later the legend was claimed as fact by Pope Pius II, who himself also walked ten miles barefoot in the ice and snow as an act of pious thanksgiving.
Although Wenceslas was, during his lifetime, only a duke, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I posthumously "conferred on [Wenceslas] the regal dignity and title" and that is why, in the legend and song, he is referred to as a "king". The usual English spelling of Duke Wenceslas's name, Wenceslaus, is occasionally encountered in later textual variants of the carol, although it was not used by Neale in his version. Wenceslas is not to be confused with King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia (Wenceslaus I Premyslid), who lived more than three centuries later.
The tune is that of "Tempus adest floridum" ("It is time for flowering"), a 13th-century spring carol first published in the Finnish song book Piae Cantiones in 1582. Piae Cantiones is a collection of seventy-four songs compiled by Jaakko Suomalainen, the Protestant headmaster of Turku Cathedral School, and published by Theodoric Petri, a young Catholic printer. The book is a unique document of European songs intended not only for use in church, but also schools, thus making the collection a unique record of secular (as opposed to sacred), children's songs of the late medieval period.
A text beginning substantially the same as the 1582 "Piae" version is also found in the German manuscript collection Carmina Burana as CB 142, where it is substantially more carnal; CB 142 has clerics and virgins playing the "game of Venus" (goddess of love) in the meadows, while in the Piae version they are praising the Lord from the bottom of their hearts.
The text of Neale's carol bears no relationship to the words of "Tempus Adest Floridum". In or around 1853, G. J. R. Gordon, Queen Victoria's envoy and minister in Stockholm, gave a rare copy of the 1582 edition of Piae Cantiones to English hymnwriter John Mason Neale, Warden of Sackville College, East Grinstead, Sussex and to the Reverend Thomas Helmore (Vice-Principal of St. Mark's College, Chelsea). The book was entirely unknown in England at that time. Neale translated some of the carols and hymns, and in 1853, he and Helmore published twelve carols in Carols for Christmas-tide (with music from Piae Cantiones). In 1854, they published a dozen more in Carols for Easter-tide and it was in these collections that Neale's original hymn was first published.
John Mason Neale published the carol "Good King Wenceslas" in 1853, although he may have written his carol some time earlier, since he carried on the legend of St. Wenceslas (the basis of this story) in his Deeds of Faith (1849). Neale was known for his devotion to High Church traditions. According to older Czech sources, Neale's lyrics are a translation of a poem by Czech poet Václav Alois Svoboda, written in Czech, German and Latin.
The hymn's lyrics take the form of five eight-line stanzas in four-stress lines. Each stanza has an ABABCDCD rhyme scheme with the even-numbered lines ending in two-syllable (so-called "feminine") rhymes. In the musical setting the usually unstressed final syllables in these two-syllable rhymes (e.g. Stephen/even) are prolonged as two half-notes (British "minims") bulking each of these lines out to the requisite four stresses. Musically speaking, each line comprises two 4/4 measures.
Neale's words are now in the public domain.* MIDI recording of the melody "Tempus Adest Floridum".
Academics tend to be critical of Neale's textual substitution. H. J. L. J. Massé wrote in 1921:
Why, for instance, do we tolerate such impositions as "Good King Wenceslas?" The original was and is an Easter Hymn...it is marked in carol books as "traditional", a delightful word which often conceals ignorance. There is nothing traditional in it as a carol.
A similar sentiment is expressed by the editors (Percy Dearmer, Martin Shaw and Ralph Vaughan Williams) in the 1928 Oxford Book of Carols, which is even more critical of Neale's carol.
This rather confused narrative owes its popularity to the delightful tune, which is that of a Spring carol...Unfortunately Neale in 1853 substituted for the Spring carol this Good King Wenceslas, one of his less happy pieces, which E. Duncan goes so far as to call "doggerel", and Bullen condemns as "poor and commonplace to the last degree". The time has not yet come for a comprehensive book to discard it; but we reprint the tune in its proper setting...not without hope that, with the present wealth of carols for Christmas, Good King Wenceslas may gradually pass into disuse, and the tune be restored to spring-time.
Elizabeth Poston, in the Penguin Book of Christmas Carols, referred to it as the "product of an unnatural marriage between Victorian whimsy and the thirteenth-century dance carol". She goes on to detail how Neale's "ponderous moral doggerel" does not fit the light-hearted dance measure of the original tune, and that if performed in the correct manner "sounds ridiculous to pseudo-religious words"......
This is far more history than I usually print, but I got such a kick out of it! Back in 1952, my mama, the late Maxine Frix Buckley (John Marshall HS - '25)(19 May 1908 - 15 Feb 1999) gave my sister, Eleanor (Buckley Nowitzky - '59 - of NC) and me a large pamphlet of Christmas carols, which we both loved. (No, we don't still own it, but I was able to locate one on eBay which has the same inner pages, albeit with a different cover.) This carol was included in it, and I really liked it. Mama apparently did not like this song any more than the above mentioned Ms. Poston did, though for a different reason. As far as I could ever learn, her main objection to it was the double octave jump in the last three notes - the very thing I thought was so super exciting!
Similarly she had some aversion to "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" which we both adored - no reason, just her policy! She was the coolest!
Hey, maybe she would have preferred this version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgovLfJZ6kk - Good King Wenceslas - Horrible Histories
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS:
Happy Birthday tomorrow to Gary Farnsworth ('58) of NV AND Anita Morgan Becker ('66) of VA!
Happy Birthday this week to:
28 - Bob Stalnaker ('63);
29 - Roy Tate ('57) AND Ginny Goolsby James ('63) AND Kenny Lipscomb ('63) of VA AND Michael Artman ('66) of VA;
30 - William Gwynn ('57) AND Ron Miller ('59) of NC AND Lucy Southall Propst ('63) of VA AND Carole Althaus Tanenhaus ('65) of MD AND Joyce Tedder Rossman ('68) of PA AND Sarah Stewart Vance ('69) of VA;31 - Pat Floyd Pride ('62) of VA AND Susie Overton Jones ('63) of VA AND David Rosenwasser ('64) of MO!
01 - Gloria Hand Burns ('57) AND Bill Fitzgerald ('58) of VA!
Many Happy Returns to You All!
THIS DAY IN WWII:
December 26, 1943 - The German warship Scharnhorst was sunk off of Norway's North Cape after a battle against major Royal Navy forces.
December 26, 1944 - George S. Patton's Third Army broke the encirclement of surrounded U.S. forces at Bastogne, Belgium.
THIS DAY IN1964:
|Saturday, December 26, 1964 - Author
Elizabeth Kostova was born Elizabeth Z. Johnson in
New London, Connecticut.
Saturday, December 26, 1964 - Joyce Lawrence ('65) and Cary Cahoon were married. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
From My Daughter-in-Law, Diana Lyons Harty (Portsmouth HS, NH / Eastlake HS, CA - '05) of CA - 12/25/14 - "New Puppy!":
[canine] arrival announcement teaser: Kept up last night by the
outraged yowls of a crated puppy. And by kept up, I mean I stayed
awake giggling, because he was just so... hysterical. Both in the
funny and freaking out sense. Marching around on his bed, shouting
at me in righteous indignation - the gall I had, to lock his royal
highness in a cage like some lowly beast... I never knew a screaming
puppy could have made me laugh so hard for so long.
[In fairness, he began by whimpering and crying pathetically, and when I looked over and quietly told him to lay down his head for sleepy time, that's when he started with the hilarious histrionics.]
I'm totally aware of how heartless I sound, but I'm happy to report that he eventually quieted down after a few sharp looks followed by gentle reassurance that while he's safe and not alone, ain't no way I'm giving bed privileges to an incontinent, insubordinate canine. No matter how fluffy he is.
Tonight, no such hijinkery. So far...
AWW! Fluffy little puppy! Thanks, Diana! (I thought the reason you waited until he was eight weeks old to bring him home was so that he would arrive in a potty-trained condition. Obviously I "don't know nuffin' about no puppy dogs".....)
From Bill Hobbs ('66) of Northern VA - 12/25/14 - "Mansions":
|Very moving and beautifully
done. If this doesn’t bring tears to one's eyes, then nothing else
will. Please watch this video to its completion.
Sound UP. Full Screen.
Thank you so much, Billy!
From My Friend, Kristi, of NC - 12/25/14:
Thanks, Kristi! It just KEEPS raining! It even rained two more days after they promised it would stop!
From My Friend, LaMerle, of VA - 12/25/14 - "Willpower":
From My Husband, Paul Harty (Bardolph HS, IL - '61) of NC - 12/02/14 - "Some Grins (#14 in a series of 15)":
Laughs for the day………..
From George Helliesen
('61) of MI - 12/22/14 - "Modern Times (#2 in a series of 30)":
INDEED! Thanks, George!
BONUS RECIPES (Sorry; not theme-related):