Annie Lennox has announced the release of a digitally remastered version of her sixth solo album, A Christmas Cornucopia: a collection of inspired interpretations of traditional festive songs, rounded out by a Lennox composition, “Universal Child”.
The 2020 re-issue of A Christmas Cornucopia will be released via Island Records on November 20 to mark its 10 year anniversary. It will feature a brand new, previously unreleased track, “Dido’s Lament”, a new tracklisting, and new artwork.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be releasing the 10th Anniversary of A Christmas Cornucopia. 2020 has been an unprecedented year around the world”, Annie Lennox says.
“The carols on this album represent continuum, harking back to a time before modern technology, climate emergency, global pandemics, pollution, forest destruction, species extinction and all the challenges our world must urgently deal with in terms of crisis in sustainability. I hope this recording will at least offer some comfort and nostalgia, but also an awareness that political leaders, religious leaders and everyone around the world must face up to the question of how many more Christmases we have left to spend on this blighted earth.”
“Dido’s Lament” – written by Henry Purcell in the 17th century and arranged by Annie Lennox and Mike Stevens – references the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas as documented in Virgil’s legendary epic poem, The Aeneid, from the 1st century BC.
All proceeds earned from Lennox’s original composition on the album, “Universal Child”, will be paid to The Annie Lennox Foundation. The Annie Lennox Foundation raises money for various charitable projects, primarily those supporting and educating women and children in Africa and people with HIV/Hepatitis C in Scotland.
The music on A Christmas Cornucopia was mostly played by Lennox, in collaboration with co-producer Mike Stevens, and originally recorded in his southwest London studio at the bottom of his garden in 2010. But to achieve the resonance and vibrancy that were integral to Lennox’s ideas for these re-energized reboots, the pair also worked with a 30-piece orchestra at Pinewood Studios. And they travelled further afield too: to South Africa, to record with the African Children’s Choir, a remarkable organization with which impassioned campaigner and activist Lennox has long had a relationship.
A Christmas Cornucopia is far from a saccharine packaged selection box. As befits its title, it offers an abundant track listing drawn from British, French and German traditions covering the well-known alongside more untrodden ground. Its broad spectrum encompasses a wide range of narratives and emotions – from joyful and celebratory thorough melancholic and haunting to poignant and timely. On “Lullay Lullay”, for example, Lennox draws direct links between the Nativity and the plight of Africa’s child soldiers.
A Christmas Cornucopia is out on November 20. Scroll down to read the full tracklisting and pre-order it here.
“A Christmas Cornucopia”
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
“The First Noel”
“Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant”
“See Amid the Winters Snow”
“Angels From the Realms of Glory”
“The Holly and the Ivy”
“As Joseph Was a Walking”
“Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”
“In the Bleak Midwinter”