Saturday, December 02, 2006

The heavenly choir

Not only are we taking part in a pantomime as I posted on Thursday 23rd November, we are also booked to sing carols to the children at the local primary school "La Paz".

Ana, our Spanish teacher, has asked us to sing a selection of her favourite English carols from the CD of carols I gave her last year.

So we will be performing renditions of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, Oh Come, All Ye Faithful and Good King Wenceslas. Just to top it off we suggested that we will also sing The Twelve Days of Christmas.

She also wants us to join in with the Spanish ladies singing the choruses for the villancicos Campana Sobre Campana and Canta, Rie y Bebe. Now that was difficult until our teacher explained that on some lines you have to roll the words together.

Belén, campanas de Belén
que los ángeles tocan
que nuevas nos traéis

Canta rie bebe
que hoy es Nochebuena
y en estos momentos no hay que tener pena
Dale a la zambomba
dale al almirez
y dale a tu suegra la murga después

So in our class last Thursday we had a bit of a rehearsal. We couldn't sing with the CD at all because the key the choirboys were singing in was way too high for us. So we sang acapella which would have been OK except for the fact that a couple of us deliberately sang in and out of key.

The look on our teacher's face was amazing. She must have thought "what have I let myself in for". She'd obviously sold us as good singers to the Headteacher at the school and there we were singing like the cats choir.

Once we'd decided to behave things went a lot smoother although we did have to remind our southern colleagues that it is "Hark not ark" and they are "Heralds not eralds ". They might miss the h out in Spain but not in proper English.

PS for those of you wondering what a zambomba is - it's a drum and an almirez is a mortar and pestle.

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