Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Sharing the Abbey Choir

Tonight's share is another new album this season.  "Abbey Choir Sing Christmas" is a 1950s-era album released on the Promenade label.  The Abbey Choir, formed in the early 1900's at the Church if St. Trinian in England, had continued through 50 years if existence, and, according to the record sleeve, had some children of the original choir members in the choir at the time of the recording.

Interestingly, friend of Merry & Bright Lee shared a version of this album over at MY(P)WHAE just a few weeks ago (Lee and I seem to be on the same wavelength this year), although his share was on the Parade label and had a different album cover.  I do like the Promenade cover, featuring two adorable young women and two handsome young men singing amidst some type of evergreen tree.

Like Lee, I found the Choir to be excellent.  The recording quality is generally pretty good.  Organ accompaniment seems a bit shaky here and there, but the choir is top form.  I enjoyed it quite a lot.

The record sleeve indicates Side A track 1 as "Silent Night" and track 2 as "The Wassail Song", but those two songs were reversed on the record itself (and the sequence was accurate on the record label). 

I've heard all of the songs that are on the album, but some are not the usual fare, such as "Christians Awake" and "As With Gladness Men of Old".  These are mixed in with A-listers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", "The Holly and the Ivy", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", and others.

All in all, a great little album of a top-notch choir.  Enjoy!

Abbey Choir download link


  1. I always love to hear "Christmas Awake." It's one of my favoritest hymns. It almost became a standard, but it didn't quite make it. I think it's on both of the Trinity Choir's Victor 78s from the 1920s--the acoustical and electrical versions. Since the Trinity Choir uses the same arrangements, it's a great opportunity to hear what an acoustical side would have sounded with a microphone. I'm curious about the Johnny Kay with the Abbey Choir LPs. I wonder if these are the endlessly issued Kay tracks interspersed with the A. Choir, or....? Nice to see this cover. You'd think the cheapies, being so dedicated to saving dough, wouldn't have done so many cover variations!

  2. Er, "Christians Awake." It was a common item in older carol booklets. Then it sort of faded away. Shame.