Corpus Christi Carol aka Down In Yon Forest…

Corpus Christi Carol, a song that tends to wake you up and make you go “WTF?”

Whence listening passively to Christmas music and suddenly hearing lyrics about sentient falcons, mysterious lovers, purple gowns, strange abandoned hallways and wounded knights abandoned on tabletops…what kind of Christmas Carol is THIS?

It is technically only a “Carol” in the sense that it is a sacred hymn. The text itself has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with the Fisher King legend. Beautiful, Apocryphal and a gorgeous relic of mythical mystery.

An ancient medieval hymn/carol. Passed down through the ages as “Down In Yon Forest,” an English (and Appalachian?) folk ballad which grew heavier on the “Jesus love” and lighter on the weird death and rebirth and mystical wound elements across the centuries but pretty much held on to its essential weirdness.

Popularized in the pre and post World War II era, as a young, ambitious 19 year old composer named Benjamin Britten penned a work called “A Boy Is Born” and included a version of the Carol.

Popularized AGAIN when Jeff Buckley  recorded a haunting and archaic sounding version on his album, Grace.

Here is some more in depth examination, for your perusual:

https://historienerrant.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/down-in-yon-forest-a-song-about-christmas-easter-and-probably-the-holy-grail/

http://chantblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/corpus-christi-carol-faucon-hath-born.html

It is, and shall always be, a beautifully odd and anachronistic relic of Arthurian genesis. Also, it’s lovely and I want to sing it soon.

 

Mermaid Falls at Sunset in Winter

I often find myself haunting Downtown streets in invisibility mode. Watching my world like an interesting movie. Meaningless meanderings. But habit all the same.

mermaidfalls

Sunset on the Avenue and a new era is beginning. Remember how you wondered when you’d wake up and feel like a grown up someday? It finally happened last night as I watched my daughter’s concert. All of these high school hopes onstage anxious and impatient for lives not yet begun.

Meanwhile, I discover that I am not a movie myself.

Rather, a long running series with twists and turns, but an established arc. I find I like the latest cast of characters. Although the plot sometimes leaves a bit to be desired.

Sunsets painted on the Avenue in periwinkle and rose and amber watercolors. Lives painted in various shades of blue and grey.