Carol of The Birds

Carol of The Birds
5 dic 2023 · 2 min. 9 sec.

"Carol of the Birds" by WG James and John Wheeler, written in 1948 This carol is a unique piece in the landscape of Christmas music. Composed in Australia, it deviates...

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"Carol of the Birds" by WG James and John Wheeler, written in 1948 This carol is a unique piece in the landscape of Christmas music. Composed in Australia, it deviates from the traditional European winter imagery, instead celebrating the vibrant birdlife and warm landscapes of a Southern Hemisphere Christmas. This shift in perspective was significant, offering a fresh and authentic Australian voice to the holiday repertoire. The carol's music is lively and uplifting, reflecting the joy and energy of the birds it celebrates. The melody is catchy and easy to sing along to, with a touch of folk and perhaps even jazz influence. The use of four chords keeps the accompaniment accessible while still allowing for dynamic shifts and emotional expression. The lyrics are playful and descriptive, bringing to life the diverse Australian bird species and their unique behaviors. From the "brolgas dancing, lifting their feet like warhorses prancing" to the kookaburras "laughing loud," each verse paints a vivid picture of the lively avian chorus. Beyond the joyful celebration of nature, the carol also touches on themes of welcome ("Orana" meaning "welcome" in Aboriginal language), peace ("the kookaburras sing of peace"), and the interconnectedness of all living things. The "Carol of the Birds" has become a beloved Christmas tradition in Australia. It's featured in various recordings and performances, sung by choirs and families alike. Its popularity lies in its relatable themes, catchy melody, and celebration of a uniquely Australian Christmas experience.
If you're interested in learning more, here are some suggestions:
  • Listen to different recordings of the carol to appreciate the varied interpretations and arrangements.
  • Read the lyrics in full to delve deeper into the imagery and symbolism.
  • Discover more about the Australian birds mentioned in the carol and their cultural significance.
  • Explore other Australian Christmas carols and how they reflect the local context.
I hope this gives you a comprehensive overview of the "Carol of the Birds.” Thanks for listening to Quiet Please. Remember to like and share wherever you get your podcasts.
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