Thursday, 2 December 2010

I think Sting gets it

One of my Christmas presents last year was Sting’s If On A Winter’s Night. I had seen his concert recorded in Durham Cathedral and thought the musicianship and arrangements of some classic carols and songs were beautiful. Unfortunately, a certain on-line supplier didn’t deliver in time so I received my copy well into the New Year, by which time the season had passed and it didn’t really sound the same.

As we enter the season of Advent it’s time to listen to the album again and it is powerfully evocative of winter and the seasons of Advent and Christmas in the church’s calendar. Reading the sleeve notes, Kate noticed that Sting makes some profound comments on the music and on our understanding of this time of year; Sting gets it. Here’s what he says about the birth of Christ:
Implicit in the story of the birth of Christ is the knowledge of his death and his subsequent Resurrection. This is what connects it to the secular songs about the cycle of the seasons. We are reminded that there is light and life at the centre of the darkness that is Winter – or conversely, that, no matter how comfortable we feel in the cradle, there is darkness and danger all around.
There’s a lovely story by the Beaker Folk which says something very similar in their inimitable style.


Revsimmy said...

Thanks for this. I hadn't heard these versions before. I much prefer the version of Gabriel's message on the youtube clip as posted than on the album (listened on Spotify). Both have their merits, though.

Kathy said...

Enjoyed your post and agree, Sting does get it. I broke out If On A Winter's Night the weekend after Thanksgiving and was reminded how absolutely beautiful it is and how perfect for the season!