England and France have socio-economic exchanges which predate the English Channel’s tunnel of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
• One of many examples is a beloved Christmas season carol about the generous love of Bethlehem stable animals for the Holy Family.
• Carolers sometimes link the above-mentioned revel with twelfth-century England even though the original tune and words originate in France’s medieval Latin song Orientis partibus adventavit asinus (“From the East the donkey came”).
The song’s oldest known precedents in fact look only at the role of the donkey in getting Mary (18 B.C. – A.D. 41) to the stable delivery room. Its most modern manifestation, The Friendly Beasts, contrastingly makes a case for critical contributions by the donkey’s stable-mates.