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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

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

silent night

The first time I noticed translation was probably while singing Christmas carols. We learnt to sing Silent Night in something resembling German and Welsh at primary school, and in learning Polish I realised that the fuzzy warm sound of carols I’d heard

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Posted in Christmas, language, translation
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