In the Bleak Midwinter

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Today was not so bleak, as it turned out: there was sun and some faint (faint) sense of warmth. But this is a brief respite from the alternating bouts of heavy snow and teeming rain we’ve been having since Christmas. Surprisingly, given this weather, we seem to be avoiding the prospect of the “meltdown season” so far. It’s early yet, though, so there’s still plenty of time for complete mental collapse before spring arrives in four months.

There is perhaps no better work that captures this part of the year than In the Bleak Midwinter:

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

No rendering of this lyrics captures its spirit better than the version on the now-alas-out-of-print CD A Celebration of the American Farm by David Schnaufer and Stephen Seifert.

If you can track down a used copy of that CD, which was created in partnership with our friend at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, you should; it’s got a bunch of great tracks from artists ranging from Maura O’Connell and Nanci Griffith to the Nashville Chamber Orchestra.

Of course if you’re looking for a somewhat more hopeful take on the season, there is always Raise the Dead of Wintertime from Allan Rankin (clip):

And when at night we’re by the stove
Our bellies full and our stories told
The winds of winter might blow cold
But none of us will feel it

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