• Medieval manuscripts

    XPI autem generatio: The Book of Kells and the Chi-Rho Page

    The Chi-Rho page in the Book of Kells isprThanks to the lovely film The Secret of Kells, large numbers of people who have never taken an art history class or studied paleography now know about The Book Of Kells. For those who haven’t seen the film, go now and watch it. The Book of Kells is a medieval manuscript created by monastics in the ninth century, and presently resides in Trinity College Library, in Dublin. It’s a beautifully illuminated version of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) with the customary additions like the canon tables. The real point of the Book of Kells is not so much the…

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  • Calendar,  Medieval manuscripts,  Music

    The Cherry-Tree Carol

    The Cherry-tree Carol: O then bespoke Mary, so meek and so mild: “Pluck me one cherry, Joseph, for I am with child.” O then bespoke Joseph, with words most unkind: “Let him pluck thee a cherry that brought thee with child.” The Cherry-tree Carol appears to have first been collected in Britain in the seventeenth century. Francis James Child printed three versions, calling the song “The Cherry-Tree Carol,” and publishing it as Child Ballad 54. It was collected previously, and subsequently, in versions from all over the British isles, and from America’s Appalachia region, where Jean Ritchie popularized the Cherry-tree Carol, in a version memorialized by Joan Baez and others.…

  • Calendar,  Music

    The Wexford Carol / Carúl Loch Garman

    Carúl Loch Garman O tagaigí is adhraigí An leanbh cneasta sa chró ‘na luí Is cuimhnigí ar ghrá an Rí A thug dar saoradh anocht an naí A Mhuire Mháthair i bParas Dé Ar chlann bhocht Eabha Guí anois go séimh Is doras an chró ná dún go deo G n-adhraím feasta Mac Rí na hÓighe I mBeithil thoir i lár na hoíche Ba chlos an dea-scéal d’aoirí Go follas don tsaol san spéir go binn Bhí aingil ag canadh ó rinn go rinn Gluaisigí go beo, duirt aingil Dé Go Beithil sall is gheobhaith sibh é ‘Na luí go ciúin i mainséar tuí Siúd é an Prionsa, Mac Óg…