Yesterday I had a movie and knitting marathon. LikeWowMom had said that The Santa Clause 2 had lots of good knitting in it, so I rented it, and indeed it does. And, yes, the presence of good knitting is a sensible reason to watch a movie, just as much as the presence of good scenery or attractive people. I also watched two other movies, and completed the ribbing section of the DNA scarf. Along Came Polly has an okay scarf or two, but The Santa Clause 2 has nice sweaters and many great hats. They should do a companion knitting book.

Today I sing “This is the Record of John” by Orlando Gibbons, perhaps the top English choral composer of the Baroque period. If you are a fan of choral music at all, you probably know his “Increase My Faith.” He was born in 1583 and lived until 1625, and many music historians consider that he was responsible for bringing England to the eminence it enjoyed in music at that time. He was an organist, and a court musician to Charles I. “This is the Record of John” is a setting of John 1:19, the story of John the Baptist’s foretelling of the coming of Christ — that’s the Advent connection.

Here is a link to a midi file:

http://www.laurasmidiheaven.com/cgi-bin/midi-display2a-new.cgi?id=000000000628&r=yes&rtv=&t=This%20Is%20The%20Record%20Of%20John

And here is the sheet music:

http://wso.williams.edu/cpdl/sheet/gib-john.pdf

Okay. I do not expect you to sing this at home with five of your best friends (who conveniently cover all the parts) and a string quartet. If you have this in your repertoire already, or have a recording (King’s College did a nice one), then please enjoy it.

If not, here is an alternative: “Run, Run Rudolph” AKA “Run, Rudolph, Run”: http://betty.hypermax.net.au/runrunrudolph.htm

This song was briefly featured in Santa Clause 2, and it is a good one, lots of fun to sing. Chuck Berry was the first to record it in 1958 (yes, it is another from the great Christmas song renaissance) and is sometimes credited with composing the music. Johnny Marks (the same guy who wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”) and Marvin Brodie wrote the words, and are usually credited with the music as well, though they and Berry may just have adapted “Johnnie B. Goode” for the tune. Jimmy Buffet recorded it, as did Bryan Adams, Hanson, and Lynyrd Skynyrd — and probably lots of other people, too.

This afternoon I will get back to the DNA scarf, steadfastly ignoring all housework. I have no more solos for the year. This is the first year in a decade that I have not had a Messiah solo, and the first in many years that I haven’t had something for Christmas Eve, so I will have more free time — or I should say more knitting time.