Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Christmas Eve

The Boar's Head

This is a 15th Century English Macaronic (mixed English & Latin) Carol, and a tradition still celebrated at Queen's College, Oxford.

Silent Night

Oh Holy Night

Merry Christmas To All



Anonymous said...

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to Kurt Silverfiddle and friends!

Divine Theatre said...

Merry Christmas!



-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

I'm afraid that none yet have "slain" the Erymanthian Boar. And none, will.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

...for it took a woman to help slay the Calydonian boar, and Theseus himself was only able to slay the Crommyonian Sow. ;)

Always On Watch said...

I haven't heard "The Boar's Head Carol" in ages!

Celtic Woman is all the rage, and some of the material is outstanding.

But give me a choir any day -- with pipe organ accompaniment.



FreeThinke said...

Finnann, who is anti-moronic,
Entertains us with tunes diatonic.
With Adeste Fidelis
He’s yet to regale us,
But instead the Boar’s Head macaronic.


~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

'Tis a rare treat for me to learn a new word. I accept "macaronic" as a most welcome-if-perhaps-unintended Christmas gift.

Many thanks!

~ FT

FreeThinke said...

Why should dour atheists be shocked
To hear carolers sing Stille Nacht
Near Nativity Scenes
Set upon village greens,
If the carolers aren’t half-crocked?

~ FT

Silverfiddle said...

I like my macaronic with cheese...

Pardon my corny humor. We have a houseful of kinfolk and I spent the night in a barbie tent in the living room with a three year old and a 7 year old.

Thersites said...

Yankee Doodle had a head/cap full of feathers, instead of macaroni.

But then, whatever you're likely to call "good", the others will call "macaroni".

But a major part of the problem with our economy today stems from the fact that macaroni vendors are now producing feathers, instead of sticking to producing macaroni's. There are no markets for chicken and/or eagle's feathers, when THAT happens. :(

FreeThinke said...

" I spent the night in a barbie tent in the living room with a three year old and a 7 year old."

Good LORD, SilverFiddle! Be careful what you write -- especially in public venues like this.

Can you IMAGINE what Opposition Researchers would make of a statement like that, if you should ever rise to prominence and try to run for public office?

Never forget the country is effectively governed by dirty-minded cynics. As such, I can assure you they no respect whatsoever for the sanctity of Christmas.

In fact I wouldn't be a bit surprised if NOW or Code Stink didn't try to bring Santa Claus up on morals charges as a would-be Child Molester or Kidnapper, who gets his kicks by entering peoples' homes by stealth in the middle of the night.

Joshingly, and with Jollity,

Your friend, FreeThinke


Thersites said...

...and yes, macaroni is my preferred medium. ;)

FreeThinke said...

Something else I never knew -- or perhaps had forgotten:

In England a well-traveled young man who makes a great show of his acquired culture could be called "a macaroni."

"Macaroni" is also a synonym for a fop.

And here I had always thought it an old-fashioned term for pasta! now fallen into disrepute!

Perhaps English, itself, could be described as "macaronic," since it is a blend Latinate, Teutonic, and Grecian influences where educated men and women have been much given to sprinkling their writings and even their informal discourse with phrases borrowed directly from Latin -- and most often in the recent past -- from French.

In the USA we are gradually being overwhelmed with Spanish. Regrettably it's mostly of the Tex-Mex variety.

In few more years, if the trend continues, the USA might be more accurately known as MACARONICA.

Yo have to admit it does have a nice ring to it -- or don't you agree?


~ FT

FreeThinke said...

One more, and the I promise I'm outta here;

The composer, Adolphe Adam,
Who called all married women “Madame,”
Wrote Cantique de Noel
While under a spell
That compelled him to write like a ham!


Thersites said...

More on the tradition at Queen's College, Oxford...

There was an amusing tradition formerly current in Oxford concerning the boar's head custom, which represented that usage as a commemoration of an act of valour performed by a student of the college, who, while walking in the neighbouring forest of Shotover and reading Aristotle, was suddenly attacked by a wild boar. The furious beat came open-mouthed upon the youth, who, however, very courageously, and with a happy presence of mind, thrust the volume he was reading down the boar's throad, crying, "Græcum est,"2 and fairly choked the savage with the sage.

This tradition, together with the customary celebration, occasioned the production of the following song, which appeared in "The Oxford Sausage," a miscellany of humorous poetry relating to Oxford, published nearly a century ago, under the care of the Rev. Thomas Warton, who himself largely contributed to it.


In Honour of the Celebration of the Boar's Head,
At Queen's College, Oxford

'Tam Marti quam Mercurio.'

"I sing not of Roman or Grecian made games,
The Pythian, Olympic, and such like hard names;
Your patience awhile with submission I beg;
I strive but to honour the feast of Coll. Reg.

Derry down, down, down, derry down.

"No Thracian brawls at our rites eer prevail,
We temper our mirth with plain sober mild ail
The tricks of old Circe deter us from wine;
Though we honour a bour, we won't make ourselves swine.

Derry down, down, down, derry down.

"Great Milo was famous for slaying his ox,
Yet he prov'd but an ass in cleaving of blocks;
But we had a hero for all things was fit,
Our motto displays both his valour and wit.

Derry down, down, down, derry down.

"Stout Hercules labour'd and look's mighty big,
When he slew the half-starved Erymanthian pig;
But we can relate to such a stratagem taken,
That the stoutest of boars could not save his own bacon.

Derry down, down, down, derry down.

"So dreadful this brisle-back'd foe did appear,
You'd have sworn he had got the wrong pig by the ear;
But instead of avoiding the mouth of the beast,
He ramm'd in a volume, and cried -- Græcum est.

Derry down, down, down, derry down.

"In this gallant action such fortitude shewn is,
As proves him no coward, nor tender Adonis;
No armour but logic, by which we may find
That logic's the bulwark of body and mind.

Derry down, down, down, derry down.

"Ye, squires, that fear neither hills nor rough rocks,
And think you're full wise when you outwit a fox;
Enrich your poor brains, and expose them no more,
Learn Greek, and seek glory from hunting the boar.

Derry down, down, down, derry down."

Thersites said...

The boar represents the male principle of "destruction unleashed". The only "cure" is the feminine principle of "attachmentment".

Hence the head can only be served in a "queen's" college....

...and so, sf, you now have been served the "cheese" with which to accompany your macaroni.

Thersites said... for the "bore" who lurks in this forest, I'm afraid no amount of "Greek" could choke him. ;)

Thersites said...

Sappho, we barely knew ye.

Thersites said...

...and just to remind all bore hunters...

Thersites said...

Well, I suppose that I've eaten enough peasant food for one afternoon.

Ta-TA, sf and friends! Have a Blessed Christmas Eve Day!

Hugh Farnham said...

May you all have a merry Christmas!

Thank you all for yet another year of lively discussion at Western Hero.

Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday season.

- Hugh

Anonymous said...

Sliver Fuddle-

Merry Christmas to you and your family.. Where is the annual Santa Photo?

Redneck Ron

Silverfiddle said...

Redneck Ron: Western Hero is under new management and it has taken on a much-needed cultural upgrade.

For those interested, here is the post that features a picture of Mrs Silverfiddle perched upon Redneck Santa's lap...

Merry Redneck Christmas

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and yours Silver !

Anonymous said...


Cultrual upgrade? What kind of Cultural Upgrade? More Country and Blue Grass music?

Curmudgeon said...

May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love.
Merry Christmas!

Finntann said...

Bluegrass? Sure, we can do Bluegrass


Z said...

sf..when I read that I read MACARONI, too :-) (but then, as you know, I'm obsessed!)


Love, Z

p.s. what kind of remark is THAT for a CURMUDGEON!? (love it!)

FreeThinke said...

While carols we sing Christmas Eve
Help to stave off the urge to grieve,
Puer natus tomorrow
Should rid us of sorrow,
Despite webs politicos weave.


FreeThinke said...

Acts 5:31

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.