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)