‘Noel Nouvelet’- Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla


I can guarantee that you’ll never have heard quite such a multi-ethnically influenced song as Joe O’Donnell’s version of the french Christmas carol, ‘Noel Nouvelet’. It truly is a cultural mixing pot of a track that picks and chooses musical sounds from all over the world and blends them together in expert fashion.

The intro to the song has a very middle eastern feel combined with more Indo-Asian sounding vocals, whilst we are reminded that ‘Noel Nouvelet’ is indeed a Christmas song with the more traditional bells hiding subtly in the background.

‘Noel Nouvelet’ is certainly a unique take on a Christmas carol, straying from the typical festive sound that most people are accustomed to. As a result, it is clear to see that Joe O’Donnell is a pioneer of world music, constantly pushing boundaries with his experimental blending of genres and musical locations.

You may have heard the name Joe O’Donnell before as he is famed for his 1977 violin led concept album, Gaodhal’s Vision, which featured talented guitarist, Rory Gallagher.

The ‘Shkayla’ part of the name is Gaelic for ‘stories’ and you really get the feeling whilst listening to Joe’s work that there is much more to it than just an aesthetically pleasing piece of music; even though it is a Christmas carol, you can sense the story telling behind it.

‘Noel Nouvelet’ might not be your typical everyday listening, but it is sure to turn heads at your next Christmas party!

For more on Joe O’Donnell check out these links:




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