I always have to stop myself when I say I like “all kinds of music”. Because, honestly, that just isn’t true, there is really only one kind of music I like. No, not [just] black metal, I’m talking about music in a minor key. I’m a happy guy, but there is something about sad, sad songs that just does it for me unlike anything that contains a dreaded major third.
This month on Minor Key Monday I talk about a nice folky Christmas carol about Mary cucking Joseph:
Shirley Collins was a British singer that grew to prominence in the 1960s with her takes on traditional English folk songs. While her voice was exceptional, her plain, unassuming manner of singing was what made her so well-suited for many of the simple compositions she interpreted. For music as sparse (and melancholic–as many of her favorite songs were) as her favorite songs often were, a more dramatic, polished approach would not have worked as well as Collins’ delivery.
This song is an example of my favorite use for banjo, more picking out a skeletal melody than a redneck-hoe-down, the twangy plucks work better than a guitar when used this way. When coupled with Collins’ plaintive vocal melodies, this was obviously going to be a minor key music shoe-in.
As for the lyrics, I’m not sure I’ve heard a song featuring Joseph going “hey, waaaaait a minute” before, so that’s good for a few laughs. Which, as far as that goes, why AREN’T there more songs with Joseph looking a little deeper into that very fishy story his wife tried to tell him? Anyway, Merry Christmas, no matter which side you take in this whole Joseph/Mary marriage drama thing!
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