Tuesday, December 8, 2015

There We Went A-Caroling!

Fun? I'd say so! Friday night at the New Earth Granary and Saturday night at the lovely home of storyteller Susan Gordon Jeff Seager and I enjoyed the best of audiences--people of all ages willing to sing, play, listen and just enjoy being together to share the joy of this season's music.

Here we are at New Earth Granary, courtesy of the Morgan County Public Library and staffer Pam Mann who invited us to come and share our songs and stories in her community. The Granary is a non-profit performance space for the community and it really is a welcoming place. 

What Christmas song might require masks, you are wondering? How about one called There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig? Really! It is also called Christmas Day in the Morning, and is an old song from Lancashire, England. Once a harvest song that had the farm people acting out the various gardening activities listed in the song, it became a Christmas song when somewhere along the way someone put in the lines "on Chrissamas day in the morning." For our performance, I brought masks for the animals in the song, making some myself because did you know, a mask for a minnow or a sparrow are just not easy to find?


In the photo above we are leading the audience in singing The Christmas Grouch, an alternate Jingle Bells. This was written by William Studwell, a man well known for his deep research and efforts to spread the stories of the carols we sing. He loved Christmas, so his lyrics are definitely not a reflection of how Mr. Studwell felt about the holiday.

Below, I am singing my favorite carol of all, Down in Yon Forest, a haunting, strange Appalachian version of the English carol of the same title,

 and Jeff takes us all into history with his rendition of Christmas in the Trenches, a song about the unusual Christmas Truce of 1914.


Saturday night found us at Susan's house with another fine audience. I am caught sipping on some lemon juice and honey in this photo--unfortunately my cold did not magically disappear so I nursed my voice and throat along duribng both performances. It's a performer's nightmare to have voice issues when an event is scheduled, but the show must go on!


We had fun with There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig with this group too. Such laughter and silliness! Don't we all need that sometimes? And for us adults it's even more imperative to remember how to find that child within and just play.

 And play they did! 


As for how the weekend went...well, I think my face says it all. Good fun, great friends, fine music, and the spirit of the season all around us. Who could ask for more?



Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

3 comments:

annie said...

wonderful post, sounds like so much fun!

Jeff said...

The best thing about doing this is the wonderful people we meet! Next best is the fun things we learn about all these songs of Christmas.

Quinn said...

You sure do look like you are having a great time. Glad you were able to sing despite your sore throat! Do you ever try gargling warm saltwater? I've done that wit some success. But it's only a good idea if you are pretty good at gargling...otherwise you can end up with a sore throat AND an upset stomach!
I winder if I can find a recording of Down in Yon Forest online somewhere? Sounds like my kind of song ;)

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