The concert went well. The acoustics in that building are splendid. We sang the Vivaldi Gloria and a variety of Christmas songs in arty arrangements. My favorite of the group was “Quelle est cette odeur agreeable,” which you can find here:


This is a beautiful tune, and it also has an intriguing set of lyrics. The Penguin Book of Carols says that they will not “insult” us by offering a translation from the French, but I am giving you a link to the French not because I assume that everyone understands French, but because the translations are not good. In the original French, we have a shepherd calling out to his fellow shepherds about an unidentified fragrance that ravishes their senses, a scent beyond the sweetness of all the springtime flowers. Further remarkable sensory experiences occur before they catch on that they are being visited by angels. The translations just don’t say that.

I like it that the song considers what angels would smell like, because I never thought of that myself. There you are on the hillside tending your flock, surrounded I suppose by the scent of sheep and unwashed men, and suddenly there is the smell of angels. Is that not an image to be reckoned with?

Midi files do not give you the same experience as performances, but I hope it will allow you to learn the tune. You can then sing it with your family around the dinner table, or while you drive around, or perhaps with your copains in the dorm. Or bring out your violin and play it for yourself. Or your banjo, for that matter. This is a good tune, and no matter how you approach it, it is going to stay beautiful.

Perhaps you cannot sing in French. You could sing it in translation, of course. However, you might then want to sing it in the form of the drinking song “Fill Every Glass” from John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera. You can hear that sung at this site:

It will also tell you something about John Gay and The Beggar’s Opera, both very interesting topics for those who find music history interesting. I read about John Gay today in a children’s book called Handel, Who Knew What He Liked, which I can recommend to you highly. “Fill every glass, for wine inspires us,” this set of words for this tune exhorts us. Certainly a different subject matter, but still an excellent tune. You know which will best suit the particular plans you have made for this weekend.

I intend to knit this weekend. I skipped the after party last night and came home and knitted, and when I am through here I will clean house, grocery shop, and knit some more. In this way I hope to finish my Christmas knitting in time.

Here is the DNA scarf. Not only are scarves dull to photograph as they progress, but since this is the third DNA scarf I have made this season, and the second cream-colored one, it is especially dull to show pictures of this scarf. On the other hand, I always like to see what other people are knitting, so you might want to see this, too.