Solstice Song by Alouette Iselin
Mary Alice and I have been singing Alouette Iselin’s “Solstice Song” for thirty years or so. Alouette is a New Hampshire-based therapist and singer and songwriter. I was always thrilled when she led a song at our pre-pandemic monthly Brattleboro pub sings with her sweet and pure soprano voice and her always interesting and beautiful songs. Her “Solstice Song” is the perfect marriage of poetry and music: “Let me come in and share your light, for I’m without a friend tonight; let me come in and share your light, and a warm place by your fire.” Here are a few renditions of her song.
We’ll start with Alouette herself, leading the “Solstice Song” in its most natural habitat, a cappella and singing along by ear, at this outdoor “pub sing” from just a few weeks ago:
Mary Alice and I first recorded the song with banjo/piano and improvized harmonies, with Mary Lea adding some fiddle, in 1990 on our (out of print) cassette tape album of winter songs “This Longest Night” (it is also on our in-print album “I’ll Never Forget“):
Mary Alice and Peter Amidon sing Solstice Song
A few years later I expanded that into a simple piano/SATB arrangement, as sung here by children and adults of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton and Upton (MA) in December 2018.
Mary Alice and I have performed a New Years Eve concert every year with our sons, Sam and Stefan, Stefan’s wife Zara Bode, our friends Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy, and their son Aidan Murphy. I did a new arrangement of “Solstice Song” for our 2014 New Year’s Eve concert:
This is the version we have in our “Twenty-five Anthems” collection. Here is a beautiful pandemic virtual-choir version of this newer arrangement, directed and accompanied by our friend Rip Jackson with his First Parish in Lexington (MA) UU Choir from December 2020:
I love how these three women adapted the arrangement for piano and two women’s voices, and I love their performance:
Thank you, Alouette!