“The First Noel” – a favourite from the traditional Christmas canon.
Late one afternoon, Allison Crowe took her place at the piano and performed the songs of “Tidings” live-off-the-floor – captured on film in real-time by director/producer Alex Postowoi and his crew: camera-persons Karen Duthie, Randy Rotheisler, editor Shirley Claydon and interviewer Steven Rosenberg. The audio’s recorded by Larry Anschell at his Turtle Recording studios in White Rock, BC, Canada.
Crowe’s much-loved versions of carols alongside tunes from the popular songbook, by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and more, have been viewed and heard by millions of people around the globe – every sex, race, religion and creed+ without boundaries or divisions.
It’s an historic session that nearly didn’t happen.
On the way from Vancouver to the studio near the Canada/US border, the large industrial van carrying the musician, film crew, and the lighting and camera gear broke down and had to be abandoned on the median.
Once bodies and equipment had been transferred into friends’ passenger vehicles, including a Volvo sedan so weighted down its undercarriage sparked as it grazed the tarmac, all arrived at Turtle late in the day for what had been booked for a morning call.
Engineer Anschell said had it been any artist other than Allison Crowe he’d have cancelled the session and looked to reschedule, as there was not the time available to set-up and film/record an album of song material. Knowing Allison, though, “Turtle” let things proceed – and, between sips of water and tea, she performed each song in a single, first, take. The full recording happened in the window it takes to enjoy these videos.
NB this is a higher-quality video file than was originally uploaded several years ago. We’ll aim to upgrade earlier postings whenever such film is sourced.
The First Noel
Words: Trad. English carol
Music: Trad. English carol; harm from Christmas Carols New and Old
Tune: —, Meter: Irr. with Refrain
Arranged and performed by Allison Crowe
The first Noel the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israel.
They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east, beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.
And by the light of that same star
three Wise Men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went.
This star drew nigh to the northwest,
o’er Bethlehem it took its rest;
and there it did both stop and stay,
right over the place where Jesus lay.
Allison Crowe – The First Noel