Advent Playlist

Advent Playlist

In a comment below Ann Marie asked me to do a blog entry about playlists. So here is my blog entry about playlists. Since Ann Marie didn’t specify exactly what she wanted me to write about playlists, what you are going to get is a very long rambling essay in which I tell you whatever pops into my head when I think about playlists in general and my Advent playlist in particular. I’ll include the actual list at the end of the blog post, so if that’s what you are looking for you can either wade through all the rambling or skip to the end to get to the good stuff.

The funny thing is that while I really enjoy a good playlist, I don’t think I’m particularly good at making them. For some reason when I start to try to make a list I get overwhelmed and lost in the details. Unless there are very clear external criteria I have a hard time determining what songs might go together. I have tried to put together playlists for driving or cleaning the house or getting the kids up and dancing, for example, and I’m never satisfied with the results. Dom is really the playlist maker in the family. (By the way, iTunes has kind of solved that problem with the Genius feature. you pick a song and then it uses that song to create a playlist of similar songs from your library. Brilliant.)

But I do have a few playlists that I’ve made up to fit liturgical seasons. To my mind that is a fairly easy task. I have a playlist for Marian feast days, all the songs and hymns and musical pieces about Mary that are in my library lumped together so that all I have to do is hit play and we can listen to feast day appropriate music. I have a Lent playlist but there’s not much on that one. An Easter one, a Christmas one, and the one that prompted Ann Marie’s comments, an Advent playlist.   

Now there are quite a few Advent hymns in the hymnal at church, a number of which I really love. There aren’t nearly as many Advent songs as Christmas songs, though. And many people like to just jump right into Christmas music. But I really love the songs about preparing the way, the songs that build anticipation. I love saving up the Christmas music for later. It’s like hoarding a box of chocolate, I love thinking about how good it will taste almost as much as tasting it. Almost. Dom doesn’t get it. He’s not one for waiting. He opens the package as soon as it comes, will take his present early, thank you very much. So this is one area where we are a bit at odds. On the weekends and in the evenings he will sometimes play Christmas music and I let him do it, though with a bit of good-natured grumbling. But during the day when he’s not here I play my Advent music. (If I play music at all. It isn’t an everyday kind of thing. I tend to like silence more than I like filling the house with background noise. I have to be in the right mood to put on music while I work.)

Anyway, as I was saying, there aren’t all that many Advent songs and there are even fewer Advent albums. So mainly I’ve been buying songs piecemeal off of other albums and grabbing songs from Christmas albums I already own. Both iTunes and Amazon are good for buying single songs. I love the fact that you no longer have to buy a whole crummy album for one song.

So far what I have on my Advent playlist is only a fraction of what I’d like it to be. I’ve been adding to this playlist slowly, buying a song here and an album there. Christmas is already a season where it is too easy to spend too much money, so I haven’t bought more than one Advent album and one Christmas album a year. I’m growing my library gradually. Last year I lucked out and found an album I really like called Advent Promise. This year Dom bought an album, A Season of Hope, an album produced by the Brotherhood of Hope, a young religious order headquartered in here Boston that reaches out to Catholics at secular universities.

So here is the playlist as it currently stands I hope to add a few more selections this year; but am trying to decide what I really want to buy. (I put in links to the albums at Amazon, both for informational purposes and in case you’re interested in buying them. Yes, we do get a little pittance when you buy through the link, which will help fund the purchase of more music.)

Once in Royal David’s City—Christmas at Trinity

In the Bleak Midwinter—Christmas at Trinity

Of the Father’s Heart Begotten—Christmas at Trinity

Come, O Come Emmanuel—Christmas Carols from Tewkesbury Abbey

Adam Lay Y-Bounden—Christmas Carols from Tewkesbury Abbey

� Kom, � Kom, Immanuel—Jul I Gammel Tid

O Come O Come Emmanuel—O Night Divine

Ave Maria—O Night Divine

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence—Tallis: Sing, Ye Heavens

People Look East—Winter Tidings

Creator of the Stars of Night—Advent Promise

This is the Record of John—Advent Promise

O Wisdom Antiphon and Magnificat—Advent Promise

Of the Father’s Heart Begotten (Instrumental)—Advent Promise

Wake, O Wake With Tidings Thrilling (Bach)—Advent Promise

Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light—Advent Promise

And the Glory of the Lord (Handel)—Advent Promise

Bethlehem of Noblest Cities—Advent Promise

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming—Advent Promise

On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist Cry—Advent Promise

O Magnum Mysterium- Victoria—Advent Promise

Sans Day Carol (Instrumental)—Advent Promise

The Angel Gabriel (Basque Carol)—Advent Promise

O Come, O Come Emmanuel—Advent Promise

Carol of the Bells (Wilhousky)—Advent Promise

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly (Instrumental)—Advent Promise

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus—Advent Promise

Lift Up Your Heads—Advent Promise

Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending—Advent Promise

Joy to the World!—Advent Promise

Hills of the North Rejoice—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Isaiah 35 (Those Whom the Lord has Ransomed)—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel/ Watchman, Tell Us of the Night—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

O Lord, I Love Your House—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Come, Lord and Tarry Not—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Alma Redemptoris Mater—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Rejoice, Rejoice Believers—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Saints of Old Ring Out Your Praises—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

I Am Confident and Unafraid—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Savior of the Nations, Come—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

Revelation Canticle—A Season of Hope: Rediscovering Our Advent Heritage

So tell me, what are your favorite Advent songs?



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