Today we head to a little church in Swansea, Wales for a performance by Rob Charles of O Little Town of Bethlehem. The tune is the ever lovely Forest Green, which was first attached to the carol by Vaughan Williams.
The Willcocks descant to this tune is very effective, so it was tempting to post the St Pauls’ version with Kiri Te Kanawa but as a shout out to church organists everywhere riding the wave of the second busiest week of the year, Miss Mussel decided to go with Mr Charles.
North American readers will be more familiar with the original tune, known as St. Louis. To Miss Mussel’s ears, it always seemed too murky for a Christmas carol. There aren’t many wrongs that a certain Elvis Aaron Presley can’t right however and although she still prefers the Forest Green version by quite a fair margin, Elvis’ jaunty phrasing is difficult to resist.