Mudcat Café message #3758559 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158777   Message #3758559
Posted By: JeffB
15-Dec-15 - 11:03 AM
Thread Name: Disappearing Carols
Subject: RE: Disappearing Carols
My Bristol-based (UK) choir keeps alive a number of West Country carols which, as far as we know, are seldom performed, if at all, by anyone else. In particular I will mention two wonderful Cheddar carols (Near Bethlehem and See the Angelic Host), and the joyously exciting Hark the Herald Angels from the village of Carlingcott (which may be seen on the old Folkinfo website). It used to be the tradition in St Ives (and I hope it still is)for the Primitive Methodist choir to process the streets on Christmas Eve singing local carols, among which was Lo, the Shepherds (Hellesveor). It is exquisite, and one of our favourites.

I feel that one reason carols such as these are so endangered is the conservatism of parish choirs. One choir leader in north Somerset absolutely refused to consider looking at our carols, another choir I know of split when some members wanted to try something different from the familiar mainstream carols. It might be useful if EFDSS could persuade the Royal School of Church Music to popularise some of our folk and WG carols. I'm sure they would become instant hits if they were heard in some of our cathedrals and Christmas major services.

Incidentally, I am an atheist; nevertheless I love our English carols and Christmas traditions. And at the risk of appearing to be a tedious pedant (umm .... guess I am), the Leaves of Life mentioned above is an Easter rather than a Christmas carol.

I will be happy to send copies of my choirs carols to anyone who cares to PM me.

Merry Xmas to all