Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:
What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Canto de Pastorela

A song from one of the "Pastorelas". "Las Pastorelas" or "Los Pastores" as they're sometimes called, are the "Shepherd's Plays" that Mexicans perform during Christmastime. The dialogue and details of the plot vary from place to place, but they all portray the journey of the shepherds to see the Christ Child in Bethlehem. Along the way they receive help and obstacles from angels and devils and face many temptations. The plays are often accompanied with music and song. The song below is from an album by singer Óscar Chávez.


“A frozen December appears to come,
the rose of April will bear fewer flowers.

How beautiful is the countryside, how beautiful are the flowers;
how beautiful is the song of the nightingales.

Upon the horizon the shadow walks,
we greet the peace from Palestine.

Crystal water, transparent ice;
Blessed is He who comes, the King of Heaven!”

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Emmanuel

"The Great antiphon for 23 December sung by the Dominican student brothers in Oxford."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Las Posadas

December 16 is when Mexicans begin celebrating Las Posadas, which last for the 9 days before Christmas.

Disney has a pretty good description of the tradition, believe it or not, in the animated film The Three Caballeros:

The Spanish version of the film gives a better sense of the music of Las Posadas (0:35 to 1:50):

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

St. John of the Cross

Today was the memorial of St. John of the Cross, mystic, poet, and Doctor of the Catholic Church. A St. John of the Cross page here from Doctorsofthe Another page: General Introduction to the Collected Works of St. John of the Cross.

The late singer Enrique Morente (who passed away a year ago yesterday) sang some of St. John's poetry set to flamenco music. Here he sings some verses adapted from St. John's poem "Cantar del alma que se huelga de conocer a Dios por fe" (Song of the soul that rejoices in knowing God by faith):

Monday, December 12, 2011

Feast Day

Today was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of Mexico, the Americas, and the Philippines.

In this video the people are singing to St Mary of Guadalupe "Las Mañanitas" (mexican happy birthday traditional song)"