This question is tricky - anyone who's ever met me will know my music taste is quite eclectic. I'll listen to anything once, I'll go to any kind of gig and I do make a geniune effort to widen my listening habits. So I'm not sure anyone would be particularly surprised whatever I said I was listening to - the last three bands I've seen live have been Thin Lizzy, Beardyman and Breed 77, the last three albums I've listened to have been by Slipknot, Alice in Videoland and The Smiths. I'll admit I don't listen to much classical music but I do quite like Ravel, Holst and Rachmaninov. Dance music irritates me but I will shake my thang to it if the occasion calls for such activity, Drum'n'bass is good for running to and I have a secret love for the occasional bit of country music. I can't think of a genre of music that I can't tolerate at least one song/artist from. So what to choose?
I'm not particularly religious - I was brought up as a member of the Church in Wales although we were never the sort of family that went to church every Sunday. Faith was important to my Nana in a way that it doesn't often seem to be to people of my generation or even my parent's generation - the church is much less a central part of people's communities these days. My own beliefs (or lack of) aside that seems strange given how vital religion has been in shaping our country - even today, when we live in a comparatively secular society, religious beliefs and prejudices have a big impact on people's lives. A lot of rhythym of our lives is set by the Christian calendar - Lent, Easter, Christmas - even though the religious aspect is often lost. I do however make an effort to go to church at Christmas despite my general religious ambivalence and it's now a family tradition that me, my mum and my sister go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Every year my dad says he'll join us but never does, we're usually late and there is always a drunk person in the church either singing at the wrong time or crying hysterically... Despite all of this there is always something a little bit magical about church on Christmas Eve - plus it's the only time of year I can go to church and know all the words to the hymns.
Today's song is one of my favourite carols - although technically it's an advent song drawing as it does on verses from the book of Isaiah. I've chosen the version sung by Aled Jones as it's quite traditional although I also quite like the Belle and Sebastian version...
"O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel"