The Mystery Of
My Favorite Christmas Song
I love Christmas songs- I pull out the music on Thanksgiving and I’ve got it going on until Christmas Night
Christmas movies are great, but the music?
That’s the most important part of the festivities- I can do without the the tree, but I must have the tunes.
When I was a child I only learned part of a song that I say on every single holiday that came up, though I rattled it off more during Christmas.
Nobody in my family knew where I learned it and why I thought it was a holiday song- so it was an earworm.
Worse yet, I only knew one line and I would sing that one line over and over and the words weren’t even in English.
I’d get grilled about where I heard it, I guess the reasoning was if they knew the song title and the rest of the lyrics the mystery would be solved and it wouldn’t make everyone crazy when I sang :
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino
So it was years and years later when I was at a friend’s house and up comes THE SONG on their CD player that I tortured everyone with at Christmas, Birthdays, Funerals and Dinner parties.
It was a real song.
The mystery remains though, where I heard it.
It’s a nice mystery, a Christmas mystery and those kinds of mysteries are fun when you just let them be.
So I don’t put too much thought into solving the question.
Now that I know the entire song I like to sing it with as much joy and gusto as I can. If I’m not feeling it when I start, I always end up getting caught in the moment and I feel it to my bones once I get going…
And here it is:
Boar’s Head ( Lyrics )
The boar’s head in hand bring I, (Or: The boar’s head in hand bear I,)
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary.
And I pray you, my masters, be merry (Or: And I pray you, my masters, merry be)
Quod estes in convivio (Translation: As many as are in the feast)
Caput apri defero (Translation: The boar’s head I offer)
Reddens laudes Domino (Translation: Giving praises to the Lord)
The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico. (Translation: Let us serve with a song)
Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio. (Translation: In the hall of Queen’s [College, Oxford])
The Boar’s Head Carol is a macaronic 15th century English Christmas carol that describes the ancient tradition of sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a Yuletide feast. Of the several extant versions of the carol, the one most usually performed today is based on a version published in 1521 in Wynkyn de Worde’s Christmasse Carolles.