From The Library: A Traditional Christmas

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 24 December, 2008

Today in From The Library we present exactly what you might expect for a Christmas Eve: A selection of traditional, seasonal music. Today’s programme ranges from Victorian favourites to modern renderings of traditional classics from the western musical tradition.

There are also some unusual recordings, of course. In particular we are featuring the music of Coope, Boyes and Simpson, and their performances of traditional carols for unaccompanied voices. Before around the middle of the 19th Century, carols were what you sang in the pub, inn or other public places and they were rousing and extremely popular. Very often they used familiar words, but each town, if not each group of carollers, had their own tunes that were passed down.

It was the Victorian reformers who felt that this kind of behaviour at Christmastide was unseemly, and sought to bring carols into church and give them more staid and stately music. They, of course, succeeded, and the traditional forms largely disappeared — not entirely, however. You will still find the odd pub — BBC Radio Four featured one the other day, in Derbyshire — where the old tunes are still known and sung lustily as they were intended. We include some of those old tunes and ancient words today.

The presenters and staff of Radio Riel would like to thank all our sponsors, clients — and of course most of all you, our listeners — for your support during the year. We wish you a very merry holiday season and we hope that despite bad circumstances in many parts of the world at the moment, that we will all enjoy a prosperous, peaceful and successful 2009. Thank you for listening.

• From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s programme was produced by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player. (If you want to listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Wildstar December 24, 2008 at 06:22

Thank you to all of you of Radio Riel for the wonderful hours spent with your music

Merry Christmas to you all !


Gabrielle Riel December 24, 2008 at 20:28

Thank you for listening Mr. Beaumont! 🙂

Gabrielle Riel


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