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Good King Wenceslas is a truly international Christmas carol. The melody itself is from a 13th century Finnish spring carol. The lyrics we know today were written in the mid 1800's by English hymnwriter John Mason Neale. The lyrics are based on the legends/myths/stories/histories of an actual Bohemian Duke, Saint Wenceslaus I, who was immediately considered a martyr for his good deeds upon his assassination in 935.

This carol is told more like a story than most carols, with a third person narrator and two main characters. As such, I decided to present it as a story played out by three voices. I had my robot choir, The Singing Sines, break into three groups, the Narrator, the King, and the Page and try to bring something different to each character. The results: A light airy narrator style, a mild, if not worried, page style, and a stern and noble king style. I do believe the group that worked on the King imagined themselves as William Shatner.

This was all placed over an aggressive and glitch enhanced dub step style music track. It came together quite nicely. Well played Singing Sines, well played.

lyrics

::Lyrics::

Narrator:
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winters fuel

The Good King:
"Hither, page, come stand by me
If thou knowest, pray tell me
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what, is his dwelling?"

Page:
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

The Good King:
"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither!
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear them thither."

Narrator:
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

Page:
"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind, it blows much stronger
It fails my heart, though I know not how,
I fear I can go on no longer."

The Good King:
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shall find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

Narrator:
In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed

Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
x2

credits

from Hark! The Herald Robots Sing! - a Holiday EP, released November 28, 2011
Music: Finnish traditional (13th century)
Lyrics: John Mason Neale (19th century)
Arranged and produced by Jim Furey.
Recorded and mastered at The Robot Junkyard.
Published by MixiM Music.
Copyright 2011, Jim Furey

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Solarno Los Angeles, California

Every song by Solarno has a story behind it, and a goal to create an experience and atmosphere of exploration, not just of the music itself, but also the inspiration behind it.

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