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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

25 Days of Jazzmas: "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"

Dec 2, 2011

For today's song, Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax) and John Miller (bass) duet on the classic "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". You can fin the track on the straight-ahead jazz compilation God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen on CBS Records. Click here to listen to the tune, done in a haunting fashion.

The song was first published by William B. Sandys in 1833, but was apparently sung as early as 1760. The title punctuation seems a bit alien to our modern eyes. Rather than referring to a group of "merry gentlemen", "Rest" denotes "keep or make" and the term "merry" once meant "mighty." This means that the song is a directive to a group of people to be blessed by the diety to stay strong or in good spirits.