So we’ve had a slight issue this week, Becca has gone! Yep, she’s gone off to Kent to take part in a touring pantomime, as you do! So while she’s away I’ve had to fill in for the music this week, although I’m not continuing my singing career into this week!
As it’s now December we had always wanted to do a new Christmas song each week, and as it was just me I decided to do an instrumental version of my favourite ever carol: O Come O Come Emmanuel.
This song probably has the longest history of any song we’ve done so far, and can trace it’s lineage back to 9th century monastic life! Seven days before Christmas Eve monasteries would sing the “O antiphons” in anticipation of Christmas Eve, when the eighth antiphon, “O Virgo virginum” (“O Virgin of virgins”) would be sung before and after Mary’s canticle, the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46b-55).
The version that we know, however, is a little more modern and can be traced back to an English translator called John Mason Neal who included it in his 1851 work “Medieval Hymns and Sequences”.
The image above is a scan from the Latin version of the carol, included in the 1844 work: Thesaurus Hymnologicus.
This is my own arrangement of the tune, although the chord sequences are already commonly used I tried to add a little of my own style to it. I hope you enjoy it.