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17 December 2012


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There is a fine adaptation - lyrics selectively drawn from the body of the poem, and edited - of this work of Stevenson on a Christmas album by Sting called "If On A Winter's Night..." The music written to set the lyrics is, as one might expect, very well crafted and played, indeed. It is one of my favorite tracks on this album, high praise indeed considering the company it keeps, anything from a setting of the medieval English carol, Gabriel from Heven Cam, to Michael Praetorius' Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, to the Cherry Tree Carol, to the harrowing setting of a poem entitled The Burning Babe from a martyred English Jesuit.

I would also emphatically recommend an album of Christmas songs from Loreena McKennitt, To Drive the Cold Winter Away. She, and her band, are extraordinarily talented artists. My wife and I were fortunate enough to have seen them in concert at the Academy of Music in nearby Philadelphia soon after the release of the album The Book of Secrets and were transported. On the Christmas album, I am particularly bewitched by her version of the Wexford Carol.

Thank you for posting the Stevenson poem. As Sting observed in his notes, Christmas can be both a time for joy and loneliness - certainly a time for reflection at a minimum.

The best of the season to all.

Maureen Lang

This poem is an old family favorite, JerseyJeffersonian. Like the Bret Harte story I posted on TA about Santa Claus paying a visit to a boy in Simpson's Bar, it was read to my daughter during the Christmas season many years ago.

Thank you for referring me to Loreena McKennitt- listening to her band right now on youtube...wonderful!

The season's best to you as well.


That's a lovely poem Maureen, thanks for posting.

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