Mentioned in the poem ‘Usk’ by T.S. Eliot, the 15th century, family run White Hart Village Inn in Llangybi once owned by Henry VIII and part of his dowry to Jane Seymour, has in its long history echoed to the sound of the chants of Cistercian Monks and to the tramp of Cromwellian army boots. Nothing however has compared to the sounds of Caldicot Male Voice Choir when it turned up to entertain the patrons and diners with its Christmas carolling on Friday December 15th.
Standing with their backs to an ancient 15th century fireplace, complete with a Priest hole’ the choir, conducted by Sian Hatton and accompanied by John Nicholson entertained with a collection of songs and Carols recently performed at its concert with St Briavels School. The programme included ’Joy to the World’; ‘When a Child is Born’; the Christmas hit ‘Silver Bells’ sung by so many including Bing Crosby, Matt Monroe and Perry Como; the ancient carol, ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’, the Russian drinking and dance song ‘Casatschok’, the iconic hit of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’; a Christmas medley which included ‘Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, ‘A Child is a King’, finalising with ‘Jingle Bells’.
Included was a range of community carol singing, including seasonal favourites ‘O Come all Ye Faithful’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ enthusiastically joined in by regular patrons and visitors alike,
During the break in performances the choir was treated to a fabulous feast of festive refreshments provided by the proprietor, Khaled Shalaby. Many thanks for inviting us and looking after us so well.
The evening was rounded off until time to go with a session of ‘Afterglow’ singing thoroughly enjoyed by all of the late night diners and village regulars.
(I think when T.S. Eliot refers to a white hart he’s talking about a deer behind St Cybi’s Well, not the pub).