It’s International Migrants Day, and being the product of at least parental, grandparental and greatgrandparental migration (our family got about a bit), I thought I’d celebrate by learning a tune that migrated from a Ukrainian folksong to an international Christmas carol, written by a composer who himself was an international migrant at times in his life. Plus it gave me an excuse to play the piano.
Shchedryk, is the nightmarish chant arranged in 1916 by Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovich. It was traditionally sung on 13 January, one of the old New Year’s Eves, so not a Christmas song, and also about a swallow. It then migrated over to America, where it got a makeover, with the lyrics changing to include lines like ‘Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas’ and the title becoming Carol of the Bells, and a Christmas classic was born.
It should have been easy to play, after all it is very repetitive. But it’s been a long old week/year and my coordination is not good at the best of times, and especially not after several piggy biscuits. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot. According to my Dictaphone, at least 26 shots, this recording being the 27th:
And here’s how it should sound:
Absolutely no difference, I’m sure you’ll agree.
And finally today’s AdVent:
Happy International Migrants Day!