Songs of the Season ~ Riu, Riu, Chiu

Common or Eurasian Kingfisher  ~ Alcedo atthis

Advent and Christmas traditions vary from family to family and culture to culture, but those who celebrate cherish at least a favorite or two. Some have been maintained for centuries, like candlelight services at midnight. Others have emerged more recently, but are no less beloved: a certain Christmas dish; a favorite cookie; a must-see movie.

Each holiday season I recall traditions deeply embedded in the celebrations of my Swedish family: cardamom seed buns, kalvsylta (jellied veal), potatiskorv (potato sausage), and pickled herring; hand-strung cranberries on the Christmas tree; bayberry candles; and the delicate ringing of angel chimes. Pink and lavender trees, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and those ghastly ornaments made to look like a certain virus have their place, but I prefer my family’s more traditional ways, and probably always will.

Still, something occasionally emerges from the clutter and cacaphony of our commercialized season to attract my attention. Some years ago, a bit of song surprised me as I shopped. Light and rhythmic, it lilted through the store: a memorable melody with indecipherable words, sung in an unfamiliar language.

Eventually, I found the name of the song and learned its extraordinary history. The song, Riu, Riu Chiu” is contained in the Cancionero de Upsala [sic], also known as the Cancionero del Duque de Calabria or the Cancionero de Venecia, a volume of mostly anonymous Spanish music printed in Venice in 1556.

The only known original manuscript, held at the library of Uppsala University in Sweden, either was “highlighted by Rafael Mitjana y Gordon in 1904” or “edited in 1909 by Rafael Mitjana,” depending upon which source you consult. Despite uncertainties about the date, Mitjana’s spelling of ‘Upsala’ is correct, since the name of the town wasn’t changed to ‘Uppsala’ until the major Swedish spelling reform of 1906.

That a collection of Spanish songs printed in Italy should end up at a Swedish university appears to be one of the more delightful accidents of history. The volume may have been acquired as war booty when the Swedish army plundered Prague in 1631, or 1648, although how the manuscript traveled to Prague isn’t clear.

In any event, “Riu, Riu Chiu” is part of a collection titled:

Villancicos de diuersos Autores, a dos, y a tres, y a qvatro, y a cinco bozes, agora nvevamente corregidos. Ay mas ocho tonos de Canto llano, y ocho tonos de Canto de Organo para que puedam aprouechar los que, A cantar començaren. Venetiis, Apud Hieronymum Scotum, MDLVI.

This translation not only clarifies the collection’s contents, it sugggests its broad appeal :

Villancicos from divers authors, for two, and for three, and for four, and for five voices, now newly corrected. There are also eight tones of plainchant, and eight tones of organum for the benefit of those that are still learning to sing. Venice, by Hieronymus (Girolamo) Scotto, 1556.

Two other songbooks, the Cancionero Musical del Palacio and the Cancionero de Medinaceli, contain all the richness and variety of the Spanish Renaissance in their collections of compositions for instruments and voices.

In addition, the Upsala collection has preserved fifty-four villancicos. Over time, villancico came to refer primarily to Christmas carols, but the songs, rooted in village life, were much like our folksongs. Sung in Castilian Spanish, Catalan, and Galician-Portuguese, most of the villancicos were secular, but twelve in the Cancionero de Upsala were meant for Christmas, including “Riu, Riu Chiu,” attributed to Mateo Flecha the Elder.

Just as Swedish spelling reforms cause difficulty for people dealing with early documents, changes in the Spanish language have left room for interpretation when it comes to the lyrics of “Riu, Riu Chiu.”

Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, editors of The New Oxford Book of Carols, tell us that:

“Riu, riu chiu” was a traditional call of Spanish shepherds when guarding their flocks in a riverside fold. Elsewhere, the catchy tune is found in a variant form with a secular shepherd-song, and it may derive from a genuine example.

Jula Karolaro, on his Yuletide Carols site reports that “Riu, riu chiu” is the call of a nightingale, or the call of a shepherd to his sheep. As he puts it:

The first line in Spanish is ambiguous, as to whether the riverbank is protecting a nightingale, or a shepherd is protecting his flock at a riverbank. So in both translations, I equivocated a bit in that first line by vaguely referring to a “riverside guardian”.

Lisa Theriot, in notes accompanying her own translation, says:

“Riu, riu, chiu” is meant to be onomatopoeia for birdsong, though the type of bird is still under debate. Leading candidates are the nightingale, for the beauty of his song, and the kingfisher, because of the concept of guarding the riverbank.

After listening to recordings of the kingfisher, Lisa found herself favoring its role as the anonymous bird. Well acquainted with the kingfisher’s call, as well as its willingness to aggressively defend its territory, I’m more than happy myself to consider “Riu, Riu Chiu” the “Kingfisher’s Carol.”

Whatever questions remain about the history of the villancico, we can be grateful for the graceful translation of the lyrics provided by the San Francisco Bach Choir, and the happy transmission of the melody through the centuries.

Today, versions of the carol abound. Everyone from Chanticleer to the Monkees have given it a whirl. But in this age of overly-produced recordings, the simplicity of the version offered by the Capella de Ministrers, an early music group formed in 1987 in Valencia, Spain, brings life to a timeless song of the season.

Cancionero de Upsala/Cancionero del Duque de Calabria ~ Atríbuido a Mateo Flecha el Viejo
Riu, riu, chiu
la guarda ribera
Dios guardó el lobo
de nuestra cordera
Dios guardó el lobo
de nuestra cordera.
El lobo rabioso
la quiso morder
Mas Dios Poderoso
la supo defender
Quizo la hacer que
no pudiese pecar
Ni aun original
esta virgen no tuviera.
Riu, riu, chiu…
Este que es nascido
es El Gran Monarca
Cristo Patriarca
de carne vestido
Ha nos redimido
con se hacer chiquito
Aunque era infinito
finito se hiciera.
Riu, riu, chiu …
Pues que ya tenemos
lo que deseamos
Todos juntos vamos
presentes llevemos
Todos le daremos
nuestra voluntad
Pues a se igualar
con nosotros viniera.

Riu, riu, chiu
The river bank is protected
God has kept the wolf
From our ewe lamb
God has kept the wolf
From our ewe lamb
The rabid wolf
Wanted to bite her
But Almighty God
Knew how to defend her
He willed to make her
Unable to sin
Even original sin
This virgin did not have
Riu, riu, chiu…
The one who is born
Is the Great Monarch
Christ the Patriarch
Clothed in flesh
He has redeemed us
By making himself small
Though he was infinite
He became finite
Riu, riu, chiu…
Now we have
What we desire
Let us go together
To present him gifts
Let us all give him
Our will
For he came
As our equal
Riu, riu, chiu…

Comments always are welcome.
The photo of the Kingfisher was taken by Mark Kilner on November 9, 2019, in Canterbury, England, and posted on Flickr.

NOTE: A commenter linked to the Monkee’s version of this song. When I visited that page, I noticed that the Kingston Trio also included the song on one of their albums. A commenter below the Kingston Trio version mentioned a secular version of the song, “Fa La La Lan” supposedly sung in Ladino, the language of Flory Jagoda’s “Ocho Kandelikas.” You can hear that version of “Riu, Riu, Chiu” here.

80 thoughts on “Songs of the Season ~ Riu, Riu, Chiu

    1. It does have a bit of a lilt, doesn’t it? Songs like this deserve to be heard in places other than formal concert halls. After all — that’s not where they started.

  1. I learned so much from this interesting post, Linda. I knew the melody, but knew nothing about the text or its long history or meaning. And as a fan of the Common Kingfisher, which I happened to have seen a few times during my recent trip to Germany, I like the notion that there is a Kingfisher’s Carol.

    1. It’s history is even more interesting than I’d realized. I discovered a secular version of the song just this morning, and added a note about that to the bottom of the post. It’s clearly a very, very old song. I’ve begun seeing kingfishers again, and I agree that they deserve their own carol. Ours are the belted kingfishers, rather than the more colorful version from Europe, but they’re all delightful.

    1. That was my response when I first heard it, June: wonderful. It seems as festive to me as any of our contemporary Christmas songs: perhaps even moreso. I’m glad you enjoyed the introduction.

    1. You’re welcome. It is a nice alternative to much of the ‘Christmassy’ music I’m hearing on the radio and in the stores these days. It’s a song that always makes me smile; it sounds as though it might have brought you a smile, as well.

      1. I often listen to our local jazz station. This month they insert jazzed up ‘Christmassy’ numbers. I can’t stand them. Your selection was excellent.

  2. I love to sing carols in other languages, but this one is the most challenging I’ve encountered so far. I’ve heard it but had never seen the lyrics or translation – thank you!

    1. Until I found the lyrics and a score, I couldn’t sort out anything past “Riu, riu, chiu.” Being able to read the words and follow the score was helpful, although I still get tangled up a bit when singing along. Still, it’s fun to try.

  3. Thank you for the history behind one of my favourite Carols. When I played the rendition you provided, I could hear Chris singing the solo before the rest of the choir came in. If I play it to him, he will be singing it for days! He has missed the choir, they have not met up since February 2020, due to “a certain virus”!

    I hope you are well, and staying safe. To me it looks like we may be “staying safe” for a another year, at least!!

    1. I well can imagine Chris singing it for days. Whenever I listen to it, it stays with me, too. I was pleased to find the score; it made learning the song (however imperfectly!) much easier.

      You might take a look at the Flickr page of the fellow who photographed the kingfisher. He’s British, and his photographs of birds and other natural wonders are superb. He might even have been a part of your birds of Britain group; I didn’t take the time to search that out.

      I am well, and living a normal life: restaurant and museum going, working, wandering. I am ready for a bit of cooler and drier weather; the beginning of my work day has been made later and later by dew. We need some real autumn!

      1. When I clicked on the link you provided back to Mark’s Flickr page, the first of the groups he had posted the photo to was “Bird’s and Wildlife UK.”

    1. When I visited the Monkees’ site, one thing led to another, and I ended up adding a footnote to the post — so thanks for that! I just saw Steve’s comment and did a bit more research, which led to another interesting discovery. Why am I thinking suddenly of rabbit holes?

    1. You’re welcome. I’m thinking that my next post might be even more personal: a reflection on a Swedish tradition — and a Swedish song — that I grew up with.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Rupali. It seems to me a wonderfully happy song, which probably is the reason I listen to it throughout the year, and not only in the Christmas season.

  4. Good afternoon, dear Linda,
    some of the traditions you mentioned we follow as well like eating the cardamom seed buns, kalvsylta, potatiskorv, and we especially like the pickled herring.
    You mentioned the university library of Uppsala, our dear master worked there for a short while studying middle eval manuscripts.
    We never came across this Riu, Riu, Chiu song.
    All the best, keep healthy & happy
    The Fab Four of Cley
    :-) :-) :-) :-)

    1. I love that you know the taste of these traditions! Making potatiskov with my grandmother always was a treat. No pan sausage for her; we always stuffed the sausage into casings, and tried to be patient until we could eat it. As for pickled herring, a sudden urge for it is the official start of the Christmas season for me. My father adored it, insisting on it once the decorations started going up. It always was on the holiday boards, along with caviar, lingonberries, and the world’s best sweets.

      We never sang this song, of course, but we did have our holiday favorites. If we’d known “Riu, Riu, Chiu,” I’m sure it would have been sung a good bit. It would go well with kitchen labors.

      1. Thank you very much, dear Linda,
        We wouldn’t have sang this song because of the very Christian text. We didn’t sing that much at all but my grandmother sometimes sang “Oh Christmastree” accompanying herself on the piano. As my grandfather was a fan and specialist of Nietzsche’s philosophy we followed very few Christian traditions. When I went to school not many of my classmates followed Christian Christmas traditions. We had kind of great pagan celebrations from the middle of December to the end of the year.
        All the best
        The Fab Four of Cley
        :-) :-) :-) :-)

        1. I smiled at your mention of O tannenbaum. I was well into adulthood — perhaps only five years ago! — when I learned that tannenbaum actually translates as ‘fir tree’ rather than ‘Christmas tree.’ The song originally referred to the tree as a symbol of faithfulness and steadfastness. Then, some verses were added, along with the mention of Christmas, and a new favorite was born. It’s interesting that my first introduction to the German language came through holiday songs. After I moved to Texas and met many more Germans, I learned to sing Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht; Alles schläft; einsam wacht. I do prefer the German to the English, although both are lovely.

          1. I like “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht” and even more so the music of “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen’. In the begining when I was invited to Christmas parties here in Norfolk they always wanted me to sing a German Christmas song. I often decided for “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” or “Stille Nacht”.
            Funny that you learned German through holiday songs. That’s surely a beautiful romantic German.
            As we just writing about foreign languages. Today I got the author’s copies of my first book I wrote in English. All my other books are written in German and translated in all the other languages. But I was (and I am) always hesitant writing in English. I wrote this book as an essence of other books of mine with much help from my editor. I was sent to schools specialised in mathematics and physics and I learned not much English there. It was a Canadian girlfriend who taught me writing and speaking an understandable English, but funnily enough she wasn’t a native speaker. Her mother tongue was French.”
            Wishing you a happy pre-holiday time
            Klausbernd :-)

            1. I very much like “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen.” There’s a whole world of wonderful seasonal music to enjoy, including much that’s been unfamiliar to me in the past.

              I saw you have a new post about your new book; I’m eager to read all about it. I can imagine how difficult writing in a non-native language would be. Learning to converse in another language is hard enough. I still laugh when I remember my own discovery that Parisian French was far from the classroom French I’d learned, even though I had a very good teacher! Of course, translations have their own issues. I learned over the years always to compare as many translations as I could find, especially of poetry. Even this little song, simple as it is, differs slightly from translation to translation. Communicating isn’t always easy!

              I really am pleased for you. I suspect writing in English was a different kind of challenge, but I’m sure you met it well.

  5. Regarding the version of the song that you linked to in your note at the end, I found a transcription and translation. How accurate the transcription is, I can’t tell. It’s hard to catch all the words that Shirley Rumsey sings. In addition, hundreds of years ago languages and spellings weren’t standardized the way they are today. And now I’m wondering if the language is really Ladino, a Spanish dialect that developed among Jews. What makes me question it is the line that says “When Lent comes, I’m going to fast.” Jews wouldn’t be fasting during Lent.

    1. I wondered about that reference to Lent, too. I did a bit more exploring, and in the context of a different Shirley Rumsey video, I found this:

      “Although the melody’s author remains anonymous, the poetry of “Fa la la lan,” (Spanish) written around 1500 C.E., is attributed to one of my favorite creators of Renaissance songs, Juan del Encina. In this song, Juan records the musings of an optimistic everyday shepherd boy and his youthfully delusional imagination.”

      After I got done laughing at the phrase “youthfully delusional imagination,” I looked up Juan Del Encina. It turns out that he was born in 1468 near Salamanca, and was of Jewish converso descent. According to Wikipedia, “A converso…was a Jew who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, or one of his or her descendants.”

      That makes sense of Lent being mentioned in Juan Del Encina’s song. But the Wiki page also mentioned that he wrote in Castillian with Leonese language influences: reasonable enough since he was from Salamanca, a Leonese-speaking region.

      At that point, I was way out of my league, but I took one more step, and did a little reading about Leonese. It turns out that Ladino is derived from medieval Spanish, with influences that include Astur-Leonese. I suppose the question is whether Rumsey was singing in Ladino, or not. I can’t even hazard a guess about that, but there’s no question that there were two versions of the song, and I suspect the secular version came first.

      1. Speaking of conversos, last night on Turner Classic movies we watched Tevya, a 1939 black and white, Yiddish-language rendering of the same Sholom Aleichem story that later got musicalized as Fiddler on the Roof. You may recall that one of Tevya’s daughters in the story marries a non-Jew in a Russian Orthodox ceremony. Interestingly and surprisingly for me, all the outdoor scenes in the 1939 movie were filmed on a farm in Jericho, Long Island, only a dozen miles or so from where I grew up.

        1. That’s quite a coincidence. If they’d waited a couple of decades, you might have been able to watch the movie being made. I’d not heard of the film, but found it interesting that “In 1991, Tevya was the first non-English language film to be named ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’ by the U.S. Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.”

  6. The Riu, Riu, Chiu song is new to me. I am so glad that you have been able to dig up the remarkable history of this beautiful song that is so full of joy and vitality, Linda. As to Christmas traditions, I am sad to see some of the cherished traditions fade away in our commercialized world.

    1. It’s such fun to discover a new song, especially one that’s as pleasing to the ear as this one. Your description of it as joyous and filled with vitality certainly matches my experience of the song. It’s one of those that can linger in the mind; I find myself humming it from time to time.

      It’s true that Christmas is celebrated differently now than where I was young, and some of the changes don’t please me at all, such as stretching the season out so that decorations start appearing before Halloween. But, when it comes to the important traditions, they can be maintained no matter what the rest of the world is up to. Have you ever seen the movie A Christmas Story? It’s wonderful, and just the way it was when I was growing up. There’s a good trailer here, and it can be rented as well as purchased. I have a copy, and watch it several times during the season.

      1. “A Christmas Story” looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the link, Linda! Your kind comment added joy to this wintry day, which makes our area already look a lot like Christmas.

        1. After moving to Liberia, it took me some time to be able to separate Christmas and snow! I’m glad you have some for your holiday, and hope it’s a well-behaved snow!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Gerard. This is the sort of music that deserves a nice pair of slippers, a cozy fire, and a nice bowl of French onion soup to accompany it!

  7. What an interesting story, Linda. How strange to think of something travelling from Spain (to Italy) to Sweden, but of course, it’s all in one landmass so why not.

    1. When people travel, their culture travels with them: sometimes adapted to new circumstances, but still recognizable. Researching this one made me acutely aware of how little I know about the older languages. I’ve always thought in terms of ‘French,’ ‘Spanish,’ ‘Swedish,’ and so on, but it’s far more complex than that. As I was typing that, it occurred to me that a good analogue might be geneaology. In the same way that people research their family trees, languages have a ‘tree’ that can be used to trace those linguistic ancestors lying far in the past.

    1. From the evidence I found on YouTube, it’s become quite popular and often is performed by chorales, medieval music groups, and so on, but I’d never heard it until a few years ago. I really enjoy older carols and secular songs of the season, and this is a fine one.

    1. I agree. The term ‘earworm’ probably wasn’t around in medieval Spain, but that’s exactly what this song is — at least for me — and I’m sure it did help it make its way to us.

    1. Your mention of the Deller Consort reminded me of my introduction to them. It was in the 1960s, I believe, and it came via a Book-of-the-Month Club cassette tape of their album Hark, Ye Shepherds. Here’s another bit of confirmation that it may be possible to find anything online!

      The next time you see a kingfisher, try whistling the tune to it. You might be surprised by the response.

  8. Even today, the sounds of B and V can be well nigh indistinguishable in Spanish. Unlike English, Spanish (and French) have a scholarly body that decides what is Spanish, and what isn’t, how new words coming into the language will be spelled and defined, and makes spelling changes to keep up with any changes in pronunciation (and has the clout to make it stick!). At some point in the past, this scholarly body decided to make spelling changes to, among other things, distinguish between “B-grande” (“hard B”) and “B-chica” (“soft B”) by spelling the latter with a V, at which point “bozes” became “voces.” (If you know the letter sounds and the pronunciation rules — there are three — you will know how to pronounce any word in Spanish, even if you’ve never seen it before and have no clue what it means.)

    1. I suspect my pronunciation of Spanish is quite poor, but no matter. I still enjoy singing the songs. As for the notion of a committee deciding what’s Spanish and what isn’t, that reminds me of our own humorously-named ‘grammar police’ who land on anyone who violates their rules. Language is a living thing, and it’s going to sneak out the back door of the academy and do what it pleases.

      I have noticed an increase in the number of sites that provide a useful guide to differences in British and American English. Somewhere I read this useful advice: “Either can be considered correct, but consistency is important. If you use ‘colour,’ don’t use ‘humor’ in the next sentence.”

  9. Well, I think you know I’m a sucker for Christmas music and this is a treasure. I love the history you researched. I’ve heard this song many times and have it on more than a few CDs but I never really knew a lot of background. So, thanks for this! This is a particularly beautiful choir rendition — fabulous voices and tempo. (And also, thanks for the translation — I had no idea!)

    1. I listened to a lot of versions before choosing this one. There were others that also provided the score, but I thought this was the best; I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s such a festive song: I enjoy listening to it throughout the year, not just at Christmas. I found several variations in the translations of the lyrics, but in the end they were small, and not very important. After all, we’re celebrating, not analyzing!

    1. Oh yes, there are ‘those’ ornaments. From vaccine certificates to models of the virus, they’re all out there. I’m not linking to one, that’s for sure. I don’t even want to look at them — who in the world would want to hang one on a tree? As the saying goes, “there’s just no accounting for folks.”

      This is one of my favorites for the holiday season; I’m glad you enjoyed it. Although I think of it as a ‘carol,’ I’m not sure it really fits that category, but it certainly feels celebratory.

    1. Aren’t the kingfisher’s colors remarkable? Our belted kingfisher is quite fun, but not nearly so ‘splashy’ in appearance. They sound a good bit alike, though, so the song can do for them both.

  10. This is a song I haven’t heard before. The connection with the kingfisher seems fitting – the lilt and gaiety of the tune could be any little bird though. I have a feeling that many of your Swedish traditions could be similar to the Danish customs I grew up with. I still practice the traditional baking during this time, but I have a feeling that in my family many of the Danish practices and celebrations will end with my generation.

    1. That’s right! It’s cookie baking season in your kitchen! Are you still turning them out in those incredible numbers, or has retirement and such led you to cut back a bit? I pulled out my recipes a couple of days ago, and I bought the ingredients. Now, it’s time to get with the program so I can get those that have to be mailed in the post by the beginning of next week.

      I’ve been keeping an eye on the wire where ‘my’ kingfisher likes to sit, but I haven’t seen him yet this year. Whether it’s the same bird is hard to say, since I’ve seen him for three and maybe four years, but I know that many species will chose a territory, and come back to it. At least I have a great song to sing while I’m looking for him!

    1. Last weekend was one of our best Galveston celebrations: Dickens on the Strand. People really get into that one, and the costumes are fabulous. Even better, if you dress in period costume, you get in free.

  11. Mike & I were talking the other day about how a little Tran-Siberian Orchestra goes a LONG way. (In this way they are like Barry Manilow, except the opposite – where he lulls to sleep, they awaken every nerve ending). I do like them in small doses.

    1. I don’t mind hearing them on the radio from time to time, but I never would attend one of their performances. I think it would be just too much. I do like their version of Carol of the Bells. One commenter left this, attached to the video: “If Christmas was a contact sport, this would be the theme song.” I can’t disagree.

  12. This is a new one for me, Linda, and here I thought I’d heard (or sung) many of the Christmas songs out there! Thanks for educating me. I find it fascinating how much there is to learn — who can ever claim education is boring?!?

    1. I have a feeling there are dozens of wonderful Christmas songs neither of us has heard! Different cultures, different languages — they all contribute to the joy of the holiday. There’s nothing boring about that — or about education in general. That’s why I hope the powers that be come to their senses and open up all the schools soon. The damage being done to children’s curiosity and eagerness to learn is substantial; far worse that any that could be done to them by a certain virus.

  13. Thank you so much for your continuing efforts to present incredibly interesting tidbits of history to us!

    I worked backwards on this one. Listened to the song first. It seemed “familiar”. As you revealed its rich history, I remained enthralled.
    At a young age, I was introduced to Gregorian chants and have been a huge fan of a cappella music ever since. “Less is better” with some types of music.

    A new favorite has been added to our Christmas play list!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the song. In this age of over-production, there’s something deeply appealing about simple instruments combined with the human voice (or voices). Especially at Christmas time, I prefer music that seems to absorb the season’s silence rather than destroying it.

      Sometimes, even the most familiar music can be transformed by a new presentation. I’ve probably sung “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” hundreds of times in choir or congregational settings, but it never gave me chills in the way this version does.

  14. Wonderful song! I love medieval music and found a group that performs it wonderfully. Blackmore’s Knight, a combination of the husband and wife’s, who front the group, names that take the era to heart. The guitarist was the lead in Deep Purple so quite a change from rock but many British rockers started learning this type.. Very different from “Riu, Riu, Chiu” but both get my foot tapping.

    1. Well! That’s not what comes to mind when I think ‘medieval music,’ but it was quite a catchy tune. When I first saw the woman, I was reminded of Stevie Nick’s classic performance of “Rhiannon” in 1976, although the similarity was more in appearance than performance. Speaking of that era, I have a friend whose grandson has taken up — jousting. Who knew?

      1. It just strikes me as what entertainment might have been like in an old tavern in those times although a bit more polished. The choice of instruments and clothing. The appearance between Stevie Nicks and and Candice Knight is similar and that is the ultimate performance by Nicks. They just don’t make ’em like that any more.

    1. I figured it out and found it. It always surprises me when I find the Monkees doing something outside what I considered their ‘usual’ fare. I still like “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer.” Good stuff.

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