Deck The Hall Tickets
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Deck the Hall
Captivating, Fascinating and Pleasant?Deck the Halls is a traditional Yuletide and New Years? song. The ?fa-la-la? refrains were probably originally played on the harp.
In the eighteenth century Mozart used the tune to ?Deck the Halls? for a violin and piano duet. Generally the English words sung today are American in origin and date from the 19th century, but the original lyrics are Welsh.
The tune was first found in a musical manuscript by Welsh harpist John Parry Ddall. Its composition is still popular as a dance tune in Wales. It was published in the 1784 and 1794 editions of the harpist Edward Jones?s Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards.
Poet, John Ceiriog Hughes wrote the first published lyrics for the piece in Welsh, titling it ?Nos Galan?. In the eighteenth century the tune spread widely, with Mozart using it in a piano and violin concerto.
In the eighteenth century Mozart used the tune to Deck the Halls for a violin and piano duet J.P. McCaskey is sometimes credited with the lyrics of Deck the Halls but he only edited the Franklin Square Song Collection in which the lyrics were first published. The first publication date of Deck the Halls is 1881. The author is unknown but the words are said to originate in America.
Formerly, carols were dances and not songs. The accompanying tune would have been used as a setting for any verses of appropriate metre. Singers would compete with each other, verse for verse known as canu penillion dull y De.
The church actively opposed these folk dances. Consequently, tunes originally used to accompany carols became separated from the original dances, but were still referred to as ?carols?. The popular English lyrics for this carol are not a translation from the Welsh.
The connection with dancing is made explicit in the English lyrics by the phrase ?follow me in merry measure? as ?measure? is a synonym for dance.
A collection of such sixteenth and seventeenth century dances danced at the Inns of Court in London are called the Old Measures. During the Victorian re-invention of Christmas it was turned into a traditional English Christmas song.
The first English version appeared in The Franklin Square Song Collection, edited by J.P.McCaskey in 1881. The comic strip Pogo often had the characters singing nonsense lyrics to the song, which otherwise ?fit? in terms of rhyme and meter.
The line ?Don we now our gay apparel? has led to obvious visual jokes about cross-dressing, the usage of the term ?gay? having shifted over the centuries.
A famous cartoon in Playboy magazine shows a man singing the line while donning a woman?s dress. A version sung in Springfield, Pennsylvania in 1970, penned by Clifton Siple contained the lyrics.
The band Barenaked Ladies recorded a version of the song called ?Deck the Stills?, with the traditional lyrics replaced with the single repeated line ?Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young?.
The animation comedy group JibJab, famous for their shorts ?This Land? and ?Good to be in DC?, created their own ?press conference? using President Bush as the singer.
All the footage was taken from conferences in Washington DC and set to very high-paced, not Christmas-like record player music. Bush?s talking was timed and cut to become the lyrics.
Australian duo Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion have also recorded the Australian version of Deck the Halls called ?Deck the Sheds?.