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Not the Usual Christmas Songs

Sleepy Rosie 12 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM
ClaireBear 12 Nov 08 - 12:35 PM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Nov 08 - 01:58 PM
MMario 12 Nov 08 - 02:11 PM
Old Roger 12 Nov 08 - 02:14 PM
Acorn4 12 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM
Rog Peek 12 Nov 08 - 02:23 PM
Mrrzy 12 Nov 08 - 02:36 PM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Nov 08 - 02:43 PM
Sleepy Rosie 12 Nov 08 - 02:56 PM
Arkie 12 Nov 08 - 02:59 PM
Genie 12 Nov 08 - 03:30 PM
Genie 12 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM
Joybell 12 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM
topical tom 12 Nov 08 - 03:41 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Nov 08 - 03:43 PM
Monique 12 Nov 08 - 03:56 PM
Newport Boy 12 Nov 08 - 04:00 PM
Liz the Squeak 12 Nov 08 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Nov 08 - 02:14 PM
Bill D 13 Nov 08 - 04:24 PM
Bill D 13 Nov 08 - 04:29 PM
Genie 13 Nov 08 - 09:24 PM
JedMarum 13 Nov 08 - 10:53 PM
katlaughing 14 Nov 08 - 04:46 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Nov 08 - 05:46 PM
Genie 14 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM
Genie 14 Nov 08 - 06:07 PM
Folkiedave 14 Nov 08 - 06:12 PM
katlaughing 14 Nov 08 - 06:41 PM
DMcG 15 Nov 08 - 03:43 AM
Cyparissa 15 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM
Menolly 15 Nov 08 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,baz parkes 15 Nov 08 - 01:40 PM
Genie 15 Nov 08 - 02:37 PM
Genie 15 Nov 08 - 02:39 PM
Ross Campbell 16 Nov 08 - 10:11 AM
Mrs_Annie 16 Nov 08 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 16 Nov 08 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,KP 16 Nov 08 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,folkyfan 16 Nov 08 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Rob the Roadie 16 Nov 08 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 17 Nov 08 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Working Radish 17 Nov 08 - 08:15 AM
Genie 11 Dec 08 - 05:19 PM
Folkiedave 11 Dec 08 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,CupOfTea at work with no cookies 11 Dec 08 - 06:12 PM
Folkiedave 11 Dec 08 - 06:31 PM
Artful Codger 12 Dec 08 - 03:35 PM
Arkie 12 Dec 08 - 04:03 PM
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Subject: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 12:18 PM

The 'Five Weeks' thread made me think on this.

If I fancied learning something a bit different for singing around Christmas, what traditional seasonal songs are out there, which will be less familiar (and perhaps a bit more interesting) to the average person like me?


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: ClaireBear
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 12:35 PM

Rosie, if you don't mind my asking. are you in the U.S., in the UK, or somewhere else? That will help us know what the "usual" songs might be.

Also, where will you be singing? To other Mudcatters or in a folk music venue? In shopping malls? Out caroling? At parties?

And finally, are you hoping for secular seasonal songs, less-known Christian material, pagan Yule songs, or...?

Claire


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 01:58 PM

Hi Claire,
Well I'm in the UK, East-Anglia in fact. I keep forgetting that this list has lots and lots of members from across the pond!

And I must confess that the only Christmas songs I really know, are the ones that >ducks flaming mince pie missiles< are the carols that are sung to death every year in every junior school, high street and village... So what will be completely unfamiliar to my ear, will probably be just 'the usual' to most folk on here!

As for a potential audience, just family, friends or a local pub eve. Or maybe even a little busk with my Da, we keep talking about doing it! Maybe this will be the year we do.

Pagan(neo?) or Yule songs would indeed be very interesting, as I'm a bit of a heathen at heart myself.

As would songs that are about interesting or obscure little Christian stories.

Anything in the traditional 'spirit' of the season. Does it help if I mention the fact that I'm quite fond of Medieval Mystery Plays and such-like?

Cheers, Rosie


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: MMario
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:11 PM

Rosie - since you are in the UK - and some of us are in the US - what are the carols **YOU*** hear over and over ad nauseum?

MMario


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Old Roger
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:14 PM

Hi Rosie,

me and my other half plan to sing non British traditional carols at our folk club (The Wolf Folk Club) at the session just before Christmas and we are encouraging our members to try something a little less usual too. After all, the big retail outlets and the broadcasters will give us enough of the top selling carols. We are in East Anglia too. Whereabouts are you.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM

Every Christmas the "Grand Union" at Barrow on Soar, Leicestershire runs a carols session. These are either ones you don't normally hear or familiar ones to the original tunes or regional variations.

I have an old copy of two years ago, but it only has lyrics not tunes. If you pm me I can put it in the post.

Alternatively contact the club:-


Grand Union Folk Club, Soar Bridge, Barrow upon Soar. 2nd Monday of month at 20:30.
Bill:                01509 813566       , email: jen-bill@sileby.fsworld.co.uk
(10 miles from Leicester)

This years session is actually on Monday Dec 8th, but tickets usually sell out before the night.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Rog Peek
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:23 PM

Here's a few:

thread.cfm?threadid=28738#358946


'The St. Stephen's Day Murders' is one I particularly enjoy singing and resurect each Christmas when the family are 'round.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:36 PM

To the tune of The Magi:

Ancient humans came from darkness and they spread across the planet
They saw the sky above them, and they learned to find their way
Out of ignorance and shadow to the hope of human kindness
They were strengthened by the knowledge that they gathered every day
And all wise folk speak of peace on earth, of harmony and struggle
Yet another cycle's gone, and a new one will begin
On this darkest day of winter, we recall that the Spring will come again
On the darkest day of winter, we cherish light with green and kith and kin...
Well now, each of us must travel, yes we all must make our journey
It seems that time is telling us to use all we can know
To help lift up the fallen we must sow the seeds of goodness
The torch has passed among us now to light the way to go
For our hearts are as a chalice, and our dreams are of the sunlight
They burn away the darkness as we kiss 'neath mistletoe
Unlike eagles, flying higher, unlike rivers down their canyons
When diamond stars shine down on us, we know whereof they glow...
And the wise still speak of peace on earth, of harmony and struggle
Yet another cycle's gone, and a new one will begin
On the darkest day of winter, we remember that the Spring will come again
On the darkest day of winter, we cherish light with green and kith and kin...


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:43 PM

MMario, I might not know many (or any) of the less well known songs, but if I were to list those classic Christmas songs that I do know, it'd still be a pretty long list to type out in it's entirity 'cos it'd include all the stuff I've heard since a wee 'un: 'Away in a Manger', 'Noel', 'Ding Dong Merrily on High', 'Good King Wenceslass', 'Silent Night' etcetera, etcetera. Forgive if I don't cite 'em all! But I think you get my drift.

Hi Old Roger, that sounds an interesting project! What cultures or nations are you sourcing your non-British Christmas songs from, may I ask?

I'm in Essex BTW, not too far from Colchester if that helps?

As you hail from this part of the UK, although it's rather the opposite of your own far more cosmopolitan brief, I wonder if you happen to know of any Christmas songs that are specific to East-Anglia? Some nice helpful people directed me to the song gatherings of Ralph Vaughn Williams for songs from these counties. But I haven't quite got as far as looking into possible Christmas songs from these parts as yet.

Rosie, the rosier for a mid-week glass of wine..


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:56 PM

Acorn4, that sounds like just the kind of thing to pique my interest: less familiar songs, origonal tunes and regional variations, all. Many thanks indeed for the kind offer of your own copy, but I reckon I'd prolly need the tunes too. So I will contact the club. Cheers for the help, Rosie


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Arkie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 02:59 PM

Cathy Barton and Dave Para and the Paton Family released a Christmas album back in 1989 that quickly became one of my absolute favorite yule recordings. The title is 'Twas on a Night Like This on the Folk-Legacy label. While every single track is a gem, my particular favorites are "Sweet Lamb", "Dark December", "Last Month of the Year", and "'Twas on a Night Like This".

Maddy Prior has several Christmas CDs and there are lots of winners there as well.

Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus", which I discovered through a previous Mudcat Thread is not a typical Christmas song but does make one ponder the meaning of the holiday.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Genie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:30 PM

Sleepy, if you do a search here for "@ Christmas" or "@Christmas Song" I think you'll find a number of threads that suggest quite a few not-so-common Christmas season songs.

Some of the songs suggested (many with links or with lyrics and chords) are silly and/or irreverent, many are serious.   

I can make a few suggestions but I'm strapped for time right now, but the ones I'd suggest are all in those other threads (e.g., the thread titled "Know any Hard-hitting Christmas songs?").

G


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Genie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM

Lots of good suggestions in some of these threads.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Joybell
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM

"The Cherry Tree Carol" is seldom sung now. Too weird for many people. I always try to sing it at least once a year. Mary and Joseph out walking and Mary wanting him to pick cherries for her. Pure pagan theatre with down-to-earth sentiment expressed by Joseph:

...Then Joseph spake in anger. In anger spake he
"Let the Father of the baby pick cherries for thee!"..

Then Baby Jesus speaking from Mary's womb and the cherry tree hearing and bowing down obediently. Then the lovely scene with Joseph taking Mary, all stained with cherry juice, on his knee.
I love this one. OK the cherry juice was my idea.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: topical tom
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:41 PM

Certainly not a classic Christmas song: "The Fugitive Prince" by David Massengill on his cd "The Return".


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:43 PM

Ramskyte's Dark December is amazing, very trad, some self penned stuff too.

DARK DECEMBER
'RAMSKYTE' are a four-part harmony group with Victory Morrismen. Pete Luscombe, John Bartlett, Brian Ingham & John Thornton.
20 seasonal traditional songs at their vocal best.
£12.00


you can buy it at the Morris Ring

http://www.themorrisring.org/Shop.htm#audio


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Monique
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 03:56 PM

There are quite a lot here and in many languages there


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Newport Boy
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 04:00 PM

Definitely in the traditional 'spirit' of the season is All Hail to the Days also known as Drive the Cold Winter Away.

The earliest copy of the words is from a broadside in the Pepys collection, about 1625, and the tune in Playford 1691.

The full 12 verses are at Hymns & Carols of Christmas here

I usually sing verses 1,3,4,5 and 11, sometimes adding verse 7. The tune in Hutchins (from that page) is the better version. The big jump at the end of the 6th line is a bit intimidating at first, but it soon becomes familiar.

I've sung it unaccompanied, with minimal guitar and with guitar and recorder, and it seems to go down well.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 04:09 PM

Sorry if it's been said, but I skipped a lot of the thread - life's too short... etc.

Pick up a copy of the Cowley Carol book - available occasionally from second hand stores, or the good old Oxford Book of Carols - there are dozens in there that are not overly familiar.

EFDDS might be able to help with a copy of the Folk Carol book - collected by Sharp or the other guy, although very few of them are Christmas/Yule orientated.

Good luck.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 02:14 PM

Can you read music? In my experience, you will save much time by simply getting a collection of carols and selecting the interesting ones. Start with your public library, then try a music store. Don't overlook hymnals.

If you can't read music, try this:

http://www.ylw.mmtr.or.jp/~johnkoji/hymn/xmas/

This site has both MIDI's to listen to and lyrics to read.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 04:24 PM

Frankie Armstrong's "Anti-Carol" might interest you....or it might not.

Here is someone else singing it, and the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 04:29 PM

I see in my search that the AntiCarol is attributed to John Pole, not Frankie Armstrong.


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Subject: Not the Usual Christmas Songs - This Endris Night
From: Genie
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 09:24 PM

This Endris Night (in the DT)
This Endris Night tune in ABC format
Other references to and info about this song:
here
here
and here


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 10:53 PM

Here's a new one that might bring good cheer to Mudcatter and similarly folk-music afflicted people.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 04:46 PM

Oh, good! I am glad you posted that link, Jed. Folks, give it a listen. It's a terrific song!


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 05:46 PM

There are a few alternate Christmas albums available on CD:
(off the top of my head)

Greentrax has "Bah! Humbug!" (various)
Document has "Blues, Blues Christmas" (various)
Dust-to-Digital has "Where Will You Be Christmas Day?" (various)
Greenhays has Jean Ritchie's "Kentucky Christmas" (Jean Ritchie)
Fallen Angles has "Feasts and Spirits" (Finest Kind)
Granny Dell has "Christmas on the Mountain" (Sheila Kay Adams)
Homespun has "Homespun Songs of the Christmas Season" (Bobby Horton)
Park has "Carols and Capers" and "Carols at Christmas"as well as "Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh" (Maddy Prior and others)
Saydisk has "Christmas Now is Drawing Near" (City Waites)
No Masters has "A Garland of Carols" and "Fire and Sleet and
       Candlelight" and "Voices at the Door" (Coope, Boyes and
       Simpson)

And nary a Silent Night nor Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the lot.
And all available at CAMSCO. Of course.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Genie
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:03 PM

I love this one, and while it's been around a while, it's not heard all that often:

Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem.


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Subject: Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem
From: Genie
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:07 PM

Here's a better recording of Star Of Bethlehem and without the longer spoken introduction.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:12 PM

And here is a great USA site.
www.glenrockcarolers.org


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:41 PM

And here is Camsco to which Dick referred and if you call him, you'll have a nice visit, too!


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 03:43 AM

You can also purchase recording and booklets of the South Yorkshire and Derbyshire carols from

http://www.villagecarols.org.uk/CAROLS/vcpublications.htm

I have put the shhet music and MIDI for a number of them, like 'Back Lane' and 'Diadem', on the folkinfo site. See http://www.folkinfo.org/songs/keywordsearch.php?keyword=134


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Cyparissa
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM

There are loads of gorgeous Christmas songs on Loreena McKennitt's CD "To Drive the Cold Winter Away." [link] My absolute favorite Christmas song (Balulalow) is recorded beautifully. "Let All That Are To Mirth Inclined" and "The Wexford Carol" are also absolute gems.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE BLAKENHAM CAROL
From: Menolly
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 01:33 PM

An East Anglian Carol - The Little Blackenham Carol from Suffolk, just 14 verses long Can be found on Artisan's first Christmas CD.

THE LITTLE BLAKENHAM CAROL
Suffolk Carol
Given to the vicar more than 100 years ago


1/ Let all who are to mirth inclined,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our great god for us has done
In sending his beloved son.

2/ Let all our songs and praises be
Unto his heavenly majesty,
And ever more among our mirth,
Remember Christ, our saviour's birth.

3/ The twenty fifth day of December,
We have great reason to remember,
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was our blessed saviour born.

4/ The night before this happy tide
The spotless virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find some lodging in the town.

5/ But mark how all things came to pass,
The inn and lodgings filling fast
That they could have no room at all
But in a field, the ox's stall.

6/ That night the virgin, Mary mild,
Was safe delivered of a child,
According unto heaven's decree
Man, God, our saviour for to be.

7/ Near Bethlehem some shepherds kept
Watching their flocks, while others slept,
To whom God's angel did appear,
Which put the shepherds in great fear.

8/ "Prepare and go", the angel said,
"To Bethlehem. Be not afraid,
And you shall see this very morn
The blessed babe, sweet Jesus, born."

9/ With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went that babe to find
And as the heavenly angel told,
They did our saviour Christ behold.

10/ And in a manger, he was laid,
The virgin Mary by him stayed
Attendant on the lord of life,
Being both mother, maid and wife.

11/ Three eastern wise men from afar,
Directed by a glorious star,
Came boldly on and made no stay
Until they came where Jesus lay.

12/ And when they came unto that place
And where our blessed saviour was
They humbly laid before his feet
Great gifts of gold and odours sweet.

13/ Let all who are to mirth inclined,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our great god for us has done
In sending his beloved son.

14/ Let all our songs and praises be
Unto his heavenly majesty,
And ever more among our mirth,
Remember Christ, our saviour's birth.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 01:40 PM

Free Reed's Midwinter 4 cd set has some interesting stuff...but a bit of a hefty investment price wise.

A personal favourite is Pete Bellamy's setting of Kipling's Eddie's Service

Baz


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Genie
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 02:37 PM

Here's one of my favorites that's not heard all the time:

Riu Riu Chiu


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Genie
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 02:39 PM

Also check out this thread: Hard-Hitting Christmas Songs


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 10:11 AM

Quote from an Amazon.com profile :-

"This Easily Becomes One's Favorite Christmas Album, December 15, 2005
I bought this CD several years ago and bought copies for friend after friend as Christmas presents. The style is pre-modern English folk carols, played on period instruments and sung in the everyday accents of the English countryside. One has a sense of Christmas relieving the tedium of a rural northern winter bringing a different, perhaps deeper, joy than it brings today. What other Christmas album could include the provocative line, "Remember, man, that thou art made of clay, and in this world thou hast not long to stay," and yet make the listener want to play the carol over and over? Of my many, many Christmas albums, this has emerged year after year as the favorite."

The album referred to is "Christmas Now Is Drawing Near: English Folk Carols" by Sneak's Noyse. The cassette played endlessly in my car about fifteen years ago (until I had, regretfully, to return the tape to its original owner). Sneak's Noyse were (are?) members of City Waites, augmented by the folkier voice of Tim Laycock. The album was produced by Saydisc and is still available on both CD and cassette (at least on Amazon.co.uk). The title song is the one quoted above. Its tune is similar to the Watersons version mentioned above, but the words are different, while reflecting the sceptical spirit. The last line, which follows that quoted above, is "This wicked world will never be content With all the gifts that our great God hath sent." Can't find the rest of the words at the moment, will post if I find them. It's in my head that there is an American trad song with a similar tune (I'll try looking amongst the Jeff Warner stuff), but I might be thinking of another carol on the album.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 12:05 PM

We have this on tape, play it every year.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 12:43 PM

Elsie`s Band have a couple of unusual Christmas songs they do each year at the Mumming night.
"The Carol Singers" (All about singing Christmas Waits)
"The Cowboys Christmas Day"


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 02:48 PM

This is a bit spooky:
Innocents Song
Phil beer does a very evocative version on the Show of Hands Album 'Witness'

KP


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,folkyfan
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 03:11 PM

I saw Belinda O'Hooley at the Frazer Theatre in Knaresborough lastnight, she sang a lovely song about 'one more Christmas with her mum' which moved me to tears


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Rob the Roadie
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 03:24 PM

Angie Wright has very good version of "GAUDETE".....translated using her "O" Level Latin Grade D.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 07:04 AM

Since you are in East Anglia what about a fine example of Christian love at Xmas in Essex?

In Essexshire it happened so
A man went out all for to plough,
As he was ploughing along so fast
Up came sweet Jesus himself at last.

"Oh man, oh man, why dost thou plough
So hard upon the Lord's birthday?"
The farmer answered him with great speed,
"To plough this day I have great need."

His arms did tremble through and through,
Until that he could no longer plough.
The ground did open and he fell in
Before he could repent his sin.

His wife and children are out of place,
His beasts and cattle now all are lost.
His beasts and cattle they die away
For ploughing on the Lord's birthday.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 08:15 AM

I think you'll find it was in Dessexshire that it befell. (I first heard that song on a James Yorkston record & was convinced it was a clever imitation of a traditional song, mainly because of the title. I guess Travellers didn't always have the clearest idea of which county was which.)


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Genie
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:19 PM

Dan Fogelberg's 1999 album "The First Christmas Morning" has several traditional and/or well-known Christmas songs - including one of the most beautiful versions of "This Endris Night" that I've ever heard.   It also includes 5 or 6 new compositions by Dan, most of them with a decidedly "trad" or "old" (e.g., Renaissance or 19th C) feel to them.

I've posted lyrics and links to sound clips here:
   Dan Fogelberg: Christ The King
Dan Fogelberg: At Christmas Time
Dan Fogelberg: The First Christmas Morning

Clips from all the songs on the album, as well as lyrics to the ones that have lyrics, are here: Dan Fogelberg album: The First Christmas Morning


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:43 PM

The vengeful christ song about the beasts ploughing is Roud S156927.

The original recorded by Fred Hamer from May Bradley, found in the book Garner's Gay and on the CD "Century Of Song" EFDSS 1998.

It has also been recorded by Spiers and Boden.

Both recordings use the title "On Christmas Day."

At the risk of a far too blatant plug - the May Bradley version will be broadcast towards the end of my programme Thank Goodness It's Folk tomorrow, along with a number of other carols. It's in the second half (first half is an interview with Martin Simpson (!!) )

I also did a whole hour the week before this is still available via the web.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,CupOfTea at work with no cookies
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:12 PM

I've a delight in offbeat Christmas songs that has been both reinforced and substantially added to by some friends of mine who perform them as the "Bittersweet Christmas Band." Richard Thompson's (a fine Brit) "We'll Sing Halleluia" is deliciously existential, though there are children in the Chicago area who think this IS a traditional song for Christmas. They are just putting out their second album of odd, funny, sweet, pointed and traditional songs - including some fine originals. (Sing in the Dark of the Year is an especially inclusive Christmas/Solstice/Chanuka song with a spiffy chorus). Well worth a listen.

Some one earlier mentioned Artisan in passing - They've got multiple Christmas albums and a number of songs that were new to me ( in the US) and I dearly love. I've heard that "The Mistletoe Bough" is cliche in some places, but the combination of Victorian sweet and corpse creepy tickled my fancy. Their album "Paper Angels" has some gems, particularly the title song and "Scarlet Raygun"(to the tune of "Scarlet Ribbons").

I also endorse Barton & Para & etc.'s On a Night Like This - all the folks on that album are world class "sing this with me" sorts of people. I especially like "Dark December" as it describes what that month is like here in the Midwest.

Joanne in very cold Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:31 PM

Joanne - if you are doing Scarlet Raygun (John Connoly) then try "I want a Hippopotamus For Xmas".

And the story behind it is interesting too.


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:35 PM

Some of my favorite, less often performed, traditional carols not mentioned above:

Allons, gay bergeres (French)
Beata viscera (12th c. Latin, by Perotin[us] and Philip the Chancellor)
Gabriel from Evene King (13th c. English)
Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree (Ingalls' setting)
Nesem Vám Noviny (Czech)
Over the Hill and Over the Dale (words: J.M. Neale)
Shepherds, Rejoice (William Billings' "Boston" setting)
Tau garço, la durundena (Catalan)
While Shepherds Watched (Daniel Read's "Sherburne" setting)

"Jolly Shepherd" (by Ravenscroft) is a nice round.

To counter the cloying sentiment of the season you can sing "The Bitter Withy".


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Subject: RE: Not the Usual Christmas Songs
From: Arkie
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:03 PM

A song I discovered a few years back and then remembered a few days ago is Zu Bethlehem Geboren which I think may be German and translated, I think, In Bethlehem Born. Very nice melody but since I have only heard two vocal versions and both are in German I have no clue as to the lyrics. Have heard several instrumental versions which I liked. I did a little research and it appears the song goes back to the 17th century. Have no idea how widely circulated the piece may be.


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