A couple of versions follow, one for HD and two of the original song from Greece:
- Ann Robinson: St. Basil's Hymn, Hammered Duclimer - hrpplayer - on a very interesting YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/hrpplayer - by a harp and hammered dulcimer player who also has several clips of Ken Bloom playing bowed dulcimer ... and a nice harpish sound to her HD pieces, including "Jesu Thou Joy of Man's Desiring."
- Κλασικά Πρωτοχρονιάς - kalanta - Audio of a recording of an up-tempo children's choir singing in Greek. Uploaded by kalanta2008 on Dec 30, 2008a. No other information available in English.
- St. Basil carols (kalanta) in Upatras 1-1-2007 stylianosm - Children singing the carols (in greek: kalanta) of St. Basil the Great in the entrance of the Church of the University of Patras dedicated to the Holy Three Hierarchs after the holy liturgy on 1-1-2007. Amateur footage and very nice. Tempo is as lively as you can get when very young children are singing.
I went under my bed and dug out the Christmas CD's and found Winston's wonderful December album- Winston says his tune "Minstrels" was inspired by St. Basil's Hymn, a traditional Greek children's New Year's carol based upon a rendition by Malcolm Dalglish, from his Flying Fish album, Thunderhead.For background the Greek children's carol, see the Byzantine Texas website (Josephus Flavius, Fort Worth), which has several good links -
One of them is the Greek Songs - Greek Music website ... which explains:
The most common version of Greek carols for the New year are the one called "Arhminia kai arhihronia" which translates to It’s the beginning of the month, beginning of the year.New Year's Day is St. Basil's Day in the Orthodox calendar. Lyrics, in translation:
The Greek carol songs are a particular type of songs in Greek music, belonging to the folk tradition. We are not certain about their origins and their lyric writer - as with all folk songs, the creators are actually unknown.
It’s the beginning of the month, beginning of the yearIf some of the lines sound a little odd in a Christmas carol, that's because there's another song embedded in the carol. Explains the Greek Songs-Greek Music website:
High incense tree
Beginning of my good year
Church with the Holy Seat
It’s the beginning of our Christ
Saint and spiritual
He got out to walk on earth
And to welcome us
St. Basil is coming
And doesn't want to deal with us
May you long live, my lady
He holds (St. Basil) an icon and a piece of paper
With the picture of Christ our Savior
A piece of paper and a quill
Please look at me, the young man.
... the folk tradition reveals us that this Greek carol song has actually disguised 2 songs in one. Of course there are all about greetings and wishes, but almost every second lyric there is a reference to a love story.More background: The Christmas and New Year's Celebrations website has this: "old New Year’s Eve tradition encourages children and adults to go from house to house, singing carols called kalanda," cf. starring in Alaska ... a good summary on the St. Herman Theological Seminary website (scroll down to Following the Star - 01/08/11):
The story takes place in the 17th century - more or less: A young man who is in love with a noble woman has the idea to express his love in the only way he can: creating a song that communicates his message disguised within love lyrics: Please look at me, the young man, he sings to his noble woman, calling her tall and beautiful like a high incense tree, a noble woman that doesn't deal with him because he is of a different social status.
It's actually quite interesting how the lyrics reveal the truth if you pay close attention, but still they are considered part of the Orthodox tradition - as if the love story of the lyrics in these Greek carols doesn't exist!
Throughout Alaska Orthodox Christians "follow the star," a brightly decorated Star of Bethlehem with an icon of Nativity as its center, proclaiming that "Christ is born" to the homes of communities with traditional hymns and carols. Although caroling--and starring--originated in the Ukraine and is done in central Europe as well, it spread to Alaska a century ago and now is identified as a tradition of Native Orthodox Christians in Alaska. As we go from house to house in the days following the liturgical celebration of the birth of Christ--"God with us"--we remember the ancient prophecy that "a star will come forth from Jacob" (Numbers 24:17) to shine the light of God upon the nations of the world for our salvation. "Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the Light of Wisdom. For by it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness and to adore Thee, the Orient from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee" (troparion of Nativity). Christ is born! Glorify Him!To hear a a public radio program on Russian Orthodox Christmas in Anchorage with a group of singing a Slavonic carol in the background, go to my Hogfiddle post of Sept. 22, 2006 and follow the link.