Friday, December 19, 2008

My Top 10 Christmas Carols: No 6

6. Quelle Est Cette Odeur Agreable: Trad French

For the benefit of non-linguists, this translates as "Whence is that goodly fragrance?" and can be sung in either language. I particularly like the French version though, partly for the reasons I explain below.

This carol is dedicated to Phil Parkinson, a French and German teacher at my old school who was also a member of St Mary's choir. As our resident modern languages expert, Colin Howard enlisted Phil to teach us to sing the carol in French. David Agg and Jeffrey Gray were two of the senior choristers of the time and Phil caused great hilarity by pointing out that the word "agreable" contained not one, but both their surnames. There was no way we would mispronounce it after that.

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