Songs for Snow

Those of us living in the Atlanta area have just experienced our first real snow fall of the season, and it has been a beautiful site to behold!  It is also my understanding that for the first time ever there is snow on the ground in all fifty states.  Certainly, in some of those locations the residents would very much like to see it go away, but for us in the south it is a joyous experience.  Whether viewing it from the warm indoors, or venturing out for snowball fights, as I did with my wife and granddaughter, it is a marvel.

It made me think about the way choral composers have set words that remind us of this special time of year.  Consider John Rutter’s Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind, Morten Lauridsen’s Mid-Winter Songs, or that favorite at Christmas, Harold Darke’s In the Bleak Mid-Winter.  The Michael O’Neal Chamber Singers just sang a concert at the Falany Concert Hall of Reinhardt (soon to be repeated at the Alpharetta Presbyterian Church!) which included a beautiful set of songs by Eric Whitacre entitled Five Hebrew Love Songs.  The words are by his wife, Hila Plitmann, and the fourth song says, “What snow! Like little dreams falling from the sky.”  We are in the midst of snow and a very cold winter and I’m so thankful that we have meaningful choral music to accompany the experience.

Do you have some favorite winter songs?

Showing 4 comments
  • Sam Marley

    I’ve always liked the Randall Thompson setting of the Robert Frost (speaking of winter!) poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”….the only other sound’s the sweep of easy wind and downy flake..

  • Michael

    Sam, that is indeed a beautiful one.

  • Charlie Mathers

    I have always considered Silent Night to be a song about snow. The silently falling snow and the strange beautiful brightness of night snow reflecting star and moon light on an absolutely still night are what I believe inspired the song writers to write the song picture of the birth of Jesus.

  • Mike Hartley

    For a choral piece, I would also pick “In the Bleak Midwinter.” My instrumental selection would be “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” And here’s an obscure one I bet no one knows: a song called “The White Snows of Winter,” from the Kingston Trio’s Christmas album, stealing for its melody a theme from the last movement of Brahms’ Symphony #1, with lyrics about love lost and found. Haunting.

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