A Christmas Carol, 2020

I wrote the following in December 2020, and think most of it holds true a year later:

God Bless Us, Every One!

If ever there was a year in which all humanity, whether believers or non-believers, might unite in repeating Tiny Tim’s famous exhortation, it is 2020.

In other years, I, like many of my friends and colleagues, would be very busy in this week leading up to Christmas with rehearsals for the special holiday services, to provide beautiful music to enhance people’s celebration of the happy birth.

Again, like many others, I have participated in various virtual choirs, but still find myself missing the one-on-one connections with other musicians as well as the faithful who attend church services.

Looking for something different to do during this very different holiday, I have set myself the challenge of recording perhaps the best-known Christmas story, A Christmas Carol of Charles Dickens.

There are literally hundreds of audiobook versions available on Audible.com, but many of these fall more in the category of radio-plays, to my ear, at least; some feature different actors portraying the main characters of the story, and almost all contain production values (music, sound-effects, etc.) that may enhance the experience in some ways, but make it something other than the simple reading of a good story.

So here is my attempt at recreating the simple tradition of reading a treasured story to loved ones: it’s just my voice and imagination and a time-honored tale. Simply click on the link to each section–Dickens called them “Staves”–at right to listen (depending on your computer and browser settings) or right-click to download an mp3 file to listen on your device of choice.

I echo the sentiment Charles Dickens expressed in his very brief Preface, shown at right.

Illustration from the inside cover of 1st Edition, by John Leech, 1843

A Christmas Carol
In Prose
being
A Ghost Story of Christmas
by Charles Dickens

Illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1915

Preface

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book to raise the Ghost of an Idea which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.

Preface and Stave I.
Marley’s Ghost

(Posted 21 December, 2020
47:06, 19.7MB)

Stave II.
The First of the Three Spirits

(Posted 22 December, 2020
43:34, 18.2 MB)

Stave III.
The Second of the Three Spirits
(Posted 24 December, 2020

55:14, 23.1 MB)

Stave IV.
The Last of the Spirits

(Posted 24 December, 2020
37:55, 15.9 MB)

Stave V.
The End of It

(Posted 25 December, 2020
16:24, 6.9 MB)

OR:

Complete Book in a single audio file
(Posted 7 December, 2021
3:20:03, 83.6 MB)