Yule (Leanne Daharja Veitch)

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  • (Posted 2011-03-21)  CPDL #23286:       
Editor: Leanne Daharja Veitch (submitted 2011-03-21).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 48 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: First release of movement 3, "Yule" from "Wheel of the Year" as a separate work.

General Information

Title: Yule
Composer: Leanne Daharja Veitch

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SAB
Genre: SacredPagan music

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2004
Description: First release of movement 3, "Yule" from "Wheel of the Year" as a separate work.

(Click here for 'What is Yule?')

What is Yule?

Yule falls at the Midwinter Solstice, when the nights are longer and the days shorter than at any other time of the year. Yule corresponds in many ways with the Northern Hemisphere Christian Christmas festival, and is associated with the Alban Arthan (Scottish). In the Southern hemisphere, Yule is celebrated on June 21st and June 22nd, and in the Northern hemisphere it falls on the 21st and 22nd of December.

At this time, Yule logs are burned. The Yule log is burned down until nothing but a small piece remains, which is saved and kept to be used as a lighter for the following year's Yule fire. A Yule tree is placed within the traditional Wiccan home, with a five pointed star at the top, symbolizing the five elements.

At Midwinter, homes are decorated with evergreen, non-deciduous trees, and gifts are given to all family members and all who pass the threshold. It is traditional to give to charities at this time, and to care, even more than usual, for the sick and poverty-stricken members of the community.

Midwinter is also a special time to care for animals. As an antithesis to the traditional (but necessary) slaughter that used to occur at this time of year, modern families may choose to donate time and/or money to animal charities such as the RSPCA. By doing so, we honour and acknowledge the importance of all creatures in this world. If slaughter is needed, it is humanely and quickly done. Midwinter is a traditional time of feasting, and the seasonal colours are green and red. Yule was the traditional time of birth of Dionysus, Mithras and Baal, and the birth of the Norse Goddess Freya was also celebrated at this time.

Midwinter represents the rebirth of light, life and hope in the midst of greatest darkness, which is why it is appropriate that the birth of Jesus Christ was also chosen to be placed at this point in the year by the early church.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Cold snow,
Icy the winds that blow
Cold, blow, in the dark of night.

Cold snow, icy the winds that blow
Cold, blow in the dark of night.

Icy cold wind blow, freezing winter snow
Yuletide is come!
Feel the icy breath, bitter cold of death
Yuletide is come!

Cold winter wind blowing icily.
Coldest, longest of nights.
Coldest, darkest of nights.

Drifting snowflakes on the air, blowing icily.
Twirling snowflakes on the air:
Wintertime at Yule.