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Curoo curoo

First line:
Full many a bird did wake and fly
after The carol of the birds
author of text
18-century traditional Irish

An eighteenth-century traditional Irish poem forms the basis of this carol. It is also known as the Carol of the birds, because three of its four verses refer to the lark, the dove, the redbird and the owl who visit the manger to sing 'on Christmas day in the morning' while its refrain concludes with onomatopoeic curoos. In the final verse, the song of the birds is replaced by that of the angels to accompany the arrival of the shepherds. The Irish composer Elaine Agnew wrote this setting in response to a commission by RTÉ (the Irish national broadcaster) in 2008. It is an expressive arrangement for female choir with harp, string orchestra and vibraphone accompaniment, but the wide-eyed owl at Mary’s side in the third verse is singled out for more exciting treatment.

from notes by Máire Egan-Buffet © 2020


Be all merry
Studio Master: SIGCD643Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 4 on SIGCD643 [3'15] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD643 track 4

Recording date
1 March 2020
Recording venue
Blackrock College, County Dublin, Ireland
Recording producer
Nigel Short
Recording engineer
Andrew Mellor
Hyperion usage
  1. Be all merry (SIGCD643)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: October 2020
    Download only
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