Mudcat Café message #2206663 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106626   Message #2206663
Posted By: Les in Chorlton
02-Dec-07 - 04:40 AM
Thread Name: Songs for the Winter Solstice
Subject: RE: Songs for the Winter Solstice

"Why do you assume that the pagans were "rolled flat"? "

Simply because all most nothing remains of what people did or believed in 8C England, you said it yourself:

"if you're looking for English traditional songs about the winter solstice it will be difficult, if not impossible to find them"

It seems to be the case.

"because such songs as might have existed will almost certainly have been transferred to the bigger, more generally accepted celebration of Christmas."

I accept the argument that the Christians placed some of the practices   on top of pre-christian practices to replace them. They have been doing this for 13 odd centuries. In the meantime the Church has used its power to organise the life of working people, no doubt some people would say this was for the best. The struggles over religious practice , certainly since the Reformation, have been between different versions of Christianity, not some long term attempt to suppress paganism.

As for the Oral Tradition I have been enjoying the songs that have been passed on this way for 40 odd years. Many of them have their origins in the 19C some in the 18C and some a bit further back. Not much of anything remains from earlier times.

If people wish to believe they are part of a tradition that goes back a lot further it's none of my business really. If they want to tell us what it is and why they think it is very old then lets have a discussion.

One of the things I got from reading about customs and so on was that, from my perspective in a more secular time, I had no real understanding of how powerful the Church was until quite recently. Before the Industrial Revolution most people lived on and from the Land and the Church organised much of public life - when did people get Holidays?

OK I am rambling on and on again. We don't celebrate the Winter Solstice we "celebrate" a dubious version of the birth of Jesus, with bits about cold winter added on because we are imaginative people.


"You really ought to consider that there is plenty of history about pre-Christian celebrations in European places other than England, and plenty of evidence that they were subsumed into "Christian" practices."

If you have hard evidence please tell.