Press Play: “A Spotless Rose” by Herbert Howells

December is the shortest month.

Okay, technically, February is shorter. It’s just that February seems to last forever. You struggle through the horrible weather, the unnecessary stress of Valentine’s Day, the curious lack of days off work, and then you glance at the calendar…and it’s still only February 17th.

December, on the other hand, hits the ground running. It races from milestone to milestone before ending with a literal bang on the 31st, leaving you dazed and hungover, wondering where the time has gone.

So let’s get your December off to a good start, courtesy of a Christmas carol by Herbert Howells, who lived through 90 Decembers. And, if possible, take his advice on how to sing this piece and apply it to your attitude as we begin this hectic, fast-paced month; try to get through it “with easeful movement.”

Key moment: The chord that the choir holds below the baritone solo at 1:51.

That makes me think of: No song better reflects the craziness, happiness, and brevity of December than “Song 2” by Blur.

Andrew Moore is our blogger-in-residence, and author of the music blog Beautiful Song of the Week.”


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