Literary Soundtrack: The Dark is Rising

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper is a wonderful book, although it is not quite as well-known as it should be. It is the second, eponymous, volume in a remarkably beautiful middle-grade series, influenced by nature, season and local mythology.

This little playlist shall capture the atmosphere of this book, the snow and the wind, and the long dark nights of Christmastime. The protagonist, an eleven year old boy named Will Stanton, comes from a musical family, is an Anglican choir boy—a charmingly unusual trait for the hero of a fantasy novel!—and traditional Caroling and Wassailing, as well as the use of music as a means of magic, make an important theme.

The melodies of Greensleeves and Good King Wenceslas in particular are highlighted and involved in the story.

Here blows, despite, or maybe because of, my excitement for the beginning of Spring, the last, cold Winter wind.

John Rutter’s Suite Antique: Prelude

Fantasia on Greensleeves

In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst)

Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind

The Sheep Beneath The Snow, The Cutty Wren, St. Stephen’s Day

Good King Wenceslas

What Child is This (Variation of Greensleeves)

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Please To See The King (The Wren)

In The Bleak Midwinter (Darke)

The entire playlist on YouTube