If you start with Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Silent Night’ you’ll get a decent summary of what to expect on this hushed delight of a playlist. Taken from a host of folk favourites from the sixties and seventies there are the obvious candidates (Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ and Dan Fogelberg’s ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’) and ones that are less so like Donovan’s ‘On Christmas Day’ which was never officially released. This may explain the poor enough quality of the recording as it is ripped from a bootleg of unreleased Donovan pieces. A lot more polished is the near forgotten Christmas classic that is Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Song for a Winter's Night’ with its atmospheric playing and the folk legend’s beautifully intonated singing. Equally spellbinding is Joan Baez’s solemn reworking of the traditional carol ‘I Wonder As I Wander’. It is utterly sparse with little or no instrumentation but this song proves to be a distillation of a truly original ethereal voice. It can be found on Baez’s Christmas album from 1966 called ‘Noël’, a piece of work that is so far removed from contemporary recordings as to make it appear like something from a different planet. This playlist of Christmas folk songs will open your ears to the endless possibilities you can savour over the holidays without resorting to the usual suspects.
Published by SpiritOfXmas | g+ profile