Friday, December 15, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: IL EST NE LE DIVIN ENFANT

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's December 15th, so it's time for this month's Battle of the Bands, hosted by Stephen McCarthy at STMcC Presents 'Battle of the Bands'I urge you to visit his blog to see the complete list of participants in the battle and to check out their battles.


Here's the deal: I usually present two renditions of the same song, but because Christmas is coming up and I feel generous, this month I'm giving you three choices. In your comment, you vote for the one you prefer, and if possible, tell us the reason for your choice. You have until midnight on December 20th to vote. On December 21st, I'll tell you who the winner is.

Our song for Christmas is Il est Ne, Le Divin Enfant (He Is Born, The Divine Child), a traditional French carol I've loved since I sang it with a church choir more years ago than I care of remember.

Here's the English translation, as taken from Wikipedia (our choir sang the chorus in French and the verses in English––our choices don't sing all the verses, and neither did we):

Chorus: He is born, the Heav'nly Child,
Oboes play; set bagpipes sounding
He is born, the Heav'nly Child.
Let all sing His nativity.

'Tis four thousand years and more,
Prophets have foretold His coming,
'Tis four thousand years and more,
Have we waited this happy hour. Chorus

Ah, how lovely, Ah, how fair,
What perfection is His graces,
Ah, how lovely, Ah, how fair.
Child divine, so gentle there. Chorus

In a stable lodged is He,
Straw is all He has for cradle.
In a stable lodged is He,
Oh how great humility! Chorus

Jesus Lord, O King with power,
Though a little babe You come here,
Jesus Lord, O King with power,
Rule o'er us from this glad hour. Chorus


Now, here are the possibilities. I've selected three that have very different sounds.

Choice #1 is The Trapp Family Singers:






Choice #2 is Edith Piaf:





Choice #3 is Annie Lennox:





I look forward to seeing your choices and reading your comments.

Happy listening!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

58 comments:

  1. I adore Edith Piaf. She has my vote for ANYTHING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edith adores you, too. She told me so.

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  2. One of my favorite songs.
    I have the Annie Lennox album and I love the way she sings it. The trapp family is also very good.

    cheers, parsnip

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  3. The Trapp Family was pretty straightforward traditional while the Lennox version was interesting though kind of strange.

    I prefer the style of Edith Piaf's version. Very pretty.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  4. I've heard of Jesus before. (Even seen Him, actually.) But I'm not sure I've ever heard this song before.

    Somehow, the von Trapp family is just not the same without Julie Andrews.

    And somehow, Edith is just not the same without Archie.

    Can't believe it, but I'm voting for ANNIE LENNOX. I have never really liked her but this was pretty good.

    And that makes twice today that I've voted for someone I could never foresee myself voting for in BOTB. (I guess I really am being honest with myself when BOTING.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    Replies
    1. Not my vote of performance preference, but the funniest reply vote, for sure! <3

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    2. The real Trapp Family Singers are very different from the kids and Julie in The Sound of Music.

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    3. Mirka, you really shouldn't encourage Mr. McCarthy. Now he'll think that everything he says is amusing.

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  5. I'm kinda drawn to Piaf's smoky voice, but I've got to vote for the Trapps. This is one of my favorite choral pieces, so it's only natural for me to pick the most choral-sounding version.

    Merry Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. At one time I think they called themselves The Trapp Family Choir.

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  6. The von Trapp version won't load for me (none of the three von Trapp versions available on Youtube will load) but clearly other commenters are seeing it. I'll bow out for this battle. I don't care for either of the other versions so I can't even vote between the two remaining! ha ha We used to sing this in school in junior high Glee Club so that might be influencing my preference.

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  7. The divine Edith. Loved the photos of her too. That said, none of them are really to my taste.

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  8. Choice #1 is giving me a message that the video is not available and I'm left with two choices. So...I'd have to go with #2.

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    Replies
    1. The Trapps must not be available in Canada.

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  9. They all worked for me. I've never even heard the song before. This was a tough choice for me because I liked all three versions for different reasons. But after hearing them all the one that stuck with me because of the odd arrangement with the haunting chorus and her clear voice--can't believe I'm voting for Annie Lennox over Edith and the Trapp family. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Annie thanks you, and she says she'd like to meet Annie the cat.

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  10. I'm going with the Trapp Family. All versions were pretty; but something about a choir makes Christmas songs - Christmassy.

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  11. Got to go with the Trapps. The song really does need to vocal harmony of all four voices.

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  12. Reading the word "Heav'nly" reminded me of when I was much younger, and every! single! hymn! that the congregation had to sing made "Heaven" a one-syllable word by spelling it "Heav'n." That made perfect sense when only one note was devoted to the word, of course, but even when there were two or three notes, the whole damned congregation would stretch out the "HEH" sound for the full length of the notes, and then cram in that stupid "VN" sound at the very end. That always used to piss me off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is there anything in the world that doesn't piss you off? Are you voting for someone or are you here to announce that, as usual, you're pissed off?

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    2. Wow. Didn't expect that. I was thinking, "Gee, Janie's been through some rough stuff lately, maybe a little mini-rant will bring a smile to her face." Boy, was I wrong. Don't worry, won't happen again.

      I got to hear all three versions of the song at a friend's house. If I'd been at the library I wouldn't have been able to vote at all. I expected to like Annie Lennox' cover, but didn't care for the arrangement. I vote for The Trapp Family Singers.

      Delete
    3. Okay. Not in the mood for rantz. You can rant another time.

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    4. I'm sorry I've been pissy. The job possibility hangs over my head like an ax. It's never taken this long before for me to find out if I definitely have a job.

      Delete
  13. Piaf gets my vote with Annie Lennox coming in a VERY close second!!

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  14. I must fix my sound, which probably only has a loose cable connection. I love Piaf and Lennox both. I will come back if I can get it fixed in time.

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  15. Not a Christmas person,moi. But I do love music. I must say the purity of the Trapp Family singers a cappella worked for me.

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    Replies
    1. Their sound is quite pure and true.

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    2. I would like to have been able to hear their version. Will try again to hear it before your BOTB ends.

      Delete
  16. I vote for the Trapp family.
    Happy weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's been a pretty good weekend.

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  17. The Trapp Family video is also not available in the UK. As for the other two choices, I dislike them both equally. Not my sort of music.

    Have a good one.

    Gary

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  18. It's not my kind of music either. But I vote for Annie, #3. She has a beautiful, smooth voice and I enjoyed hers best.
    Cheers and love to you, JJ.

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    Replies
    1. I'm disappointed that the whole world doesn't love this carol, but I suppose it's not something you sing in the temple.

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  19. I have to be honest, done of these really did much for me, but if I must pick one I am going with Annie.

    Happy Holidays to you Janie!

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    Replies
    1. It's not a must, but I appreciate your participation.

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  20. Janie,

    The first version is beautifully, elegant and while I certainly couldn't listen to something like this all the time, I do like it small measures. Their rendition won me over almost instantly. So please give my vote to The Trapp Family Singers. Have a joyful & blessed Christmas, my friend! :)

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  21. The styles are so different it is difficult to decide. Annie's is more modern and more like what I am used to hearing, but the others are unique, too. I shall abstain.

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  22. Well, I still have not been able to hear The Trapp Family Singers' version but I found a lovely one by The Chieftains with Kate and Anna McGarrigle that I want to share with you in lieu of my vote.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSwfQVgVcT4

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    Replies
    1. Okay, if I am allowed to vote from the two selections that I can listen to in Canada, I choose The Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf.

      Delete
  23. Hi Janie; Sorry I missed this! Unfortunately, the first video is not available in Canada and a quick search yielded nothing. These are the von Trapps from "The Sound of Music" fame, I assume? Anyway, with only the last two to choose from, my vote would go to Edith Piaf. Since I couldn't judge all three, that's probably moot. Your call. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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    1. I think it's fine if Edith Piaf gets your vote. This is the first time I've run into the problem of a video not being available in the U.K. and Canada. They are the Trapp family from The Sound of Music, but their actual singing was very different from the movie.

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  24. Oooh, Janie-poo, you have whipped up a gem. Me likey every single one, but I LOVE the Annie Lennox version.

    Hope you are well and have a Merry Christmas!
    Cherdo

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  25. I know this song well but I couldn’t play the Von Trapp version. I listened to other pieces from them and know, for sure I would have chosen them because I love their sound so much and it reminds me of the German Christmas albums I have. Since I couldn’t hear this specific one, though, I choose Annie Lennox. I love Edith but I don’t care for her warble here. I didn’t like the beginning or end of the Lennox version but I like how she kept the original style overall to this piece.

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.