It is time for the annual musical Advent calendar. I’m starting with “Carol of the Bells,” which I may never have included before because I don’t like it.

“Carol of the Bells” was popular during the Spanish Flu epidemic just over a century ago. It seems ideal for this year’s pandemic Christmas, too, because it is seriously creepy.

Here it is with a counter tenor taking the lead.


The music was written by Mykola Leontovych in 1914 and the lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky It is based on a Ukrainian folk tune called “Shchedryk.”

Here’s Libera with a more traditional version:

#2 son says it reminds him of “Danse Macabre.” Judge for yourself.

This is probably the perfect carol for 2020. We have had a global pandemic, a president who refused to accept that he lost his bid for reelection, protests in the streets over public murders of black people by police officers, and just today the collapse of the Arecibo Telescope. Those are just the high points.

The pandemic? 638,000,000 million cases right now, and 1,480,000 deaths worldwide. 13,700,000 in the United States, with 269,000 deaths.