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The year was so new, it yawned and stretched…

I was in London over new year, and there was one place I had to go. The British Library to see the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition. It is stuffed with treasures, including some of the earliest works ever written and translated

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Posted in books, Christmas, Folklore, history, literature, translation

Oh, to be in Finland, now December’s there

It’s too warm. It should be colder – a lot colder. It’s unseasonable. It’s beautiful, delightful, but it all feels wrong. It’s just all a bit too much, not cosy enough, not delicate enough, perhaps? Things should be the same,

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Posted in Christmas, music, poetry, translation

Twelve Days: Six Catalan Poets

In the middle of the twelve days of Christmas, the year is turning. It’s a time to remember the good and bad in the year that’s fading, and perhaps to hope for something better in the year to come. One

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Posted in books, Christmas, language, poetry, translation

The Fox’s Carol

The year is about to turn – it is the shortest day. From here on in, the light returns, the days get longer. But when it’s this dark (for 19 hours a day, where I live), you have a better

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Posted in Christmas, Folklore, music, translation

the carol that travelled

This is one of the most beloved carols in the Nordic countries, but the tune is from Central Europe and it has travelled across the Atlantic in English translations. So why haven’t you heard of it yet? Maybe it’s because

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Posted in Christmas, history, international, music, translation

A Welsh New Year Wish

Cold is the man who can’t love, The old mountains of dear Wales, To him and his warmest friend, A cheerful holiday next year. Cold is the snow on Mount Snowdon, Even though it has a flannel blanket on it,

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Posted in Christmas, translation

‘Jack Finn’´s Carols

Finnish Christmas carols are often seen as extraordinarily depressing. That isn’t quite fair. In fact, we have a Finn (Jaakko Suomalainen, Jacobus Finno) to thank for some of the best loved carols worldwide. He was a priest and head of the

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Posted in Christmas, history, translation
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