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Twelfth Night songs?

margaret 21 Nov 99 - 08:48 PM
Stewie 21 Nov 99 - 09:51 PM
Liz the Squeak 22 Nov 99 - 05:07 AM
margaret 22 Nov 99 - 11:31 AM
MMario 22 Nov 99 - 11:55 AM
Liz the Squeak 22 Nov 99 - 12:27 PM
MMario 22 Nov 99 - 01:07 PM
Stewie 22 Nov 99 - 06:04 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 99 - 04:33 AM
roopoo 23 Nov 99 - 07:52 AM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 99 - 08:11 AM
roopoo 23 Nov 99 - 03:35 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 99 - 04:04 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 99 - 04:04 PM
bunkerhill 23 Nov 99 - 10:25 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Nov 99 - 10:56 PM
margaret 24 Nov 99 - 12:42 AM
Liz the Squeak 24 Nov 99 - 12:57 AM
Sandy Paton 24 Nov 99 - 02:39 AM
Sandy Paton 24 Nov 99 - 02:47 AM
Penny S. 24 Nov 99 - 06:27 PM
margaret 24 Nov 99 - 06:34 PM
Penny S. 24 Nov 99 - 06:40 PM
Sandy Paton 25 Nov 99 - 04:02 AM
Liz the Squeak 25 Nov 99 - 04:13 AM
Penny S. 25 Nov 99 - 11:34 AM
Penny S. 25 Nov 99 - 06:23 PM
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Subject: Twelfth Night songs?
From: margaret
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 08:48 PM

Does anyone know any traditional songs regarding the Twelfth Night celebration? The museum I work at recreates a late 18th-century Twelfth Night, and it would be great to add a song or songs to the festivities. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 09:51 PM

The only one that springs to mind is 'Waits' Carol' that appeared on Martyn Wyndham-Read, Geoff and Penny Harris and Arky's Toast 'Maypole to Mistletoe'. It begins 'Down with the rosemary and bays, down with the mistletoe'. There is this quote: 'At the Christmas time our houses are bedecked with greenery of many kinds, with holly, mistletoe, rosemary and bays. And when the night of the twelfth day comes round, all decorations must come down, for if perchance they should remain until Candlemas Day, then surely will they all turn in to goblins'. Unfortunately, the album was on the Trailer label which is now owned by the dreaded Bulmer who has reissued nothing from his Leader/Trailer holdings. You may be able to find a printed version.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 05:07 AM

There are several Epiphany carols, which is what the Christians call 12th Night, so they can steal another pagan festival (Old Christmas, before they stole our 11 days) and they can be found in the good old Oxford Book of Carols. There are others around, but I don't have all my music books to hand at the moment.

If you want to be really pedantic, sing the oldest Christmas carols on 12th Night, because that is really Christmas....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: margaret
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 11:31 AM

Thanks very much to you both. It's clear to me that NOT owning the Oxford Book of Carols has been an egregious oversight on my part! I promise to report on the success (or failure) in incorporating Epiphany carols into the program. Cheers, Margaret


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: MMario
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 11:55 AM

LiS - I am probably feeling a little touchy today - in fact I know I am, but I DO get very tired of getting blamed for the actions of people many centuries ago.....and more or less getting told that my celebration of a religious festival that is important to my faith is invalid because another religion happens to have celebrated a festival at the same time.....

I am not excusing the Christians who did deliberatly try to subvert the pagan celebrations by co-opting holy days and celebrations, but after hundreds of years the Christian celebrations DO have some validity in their own right (or "rites")

I can imagine the furor if a similar stance was taken regarding Kwanzaa (did I spell that correctly?) which WAS made up out of whole cloth within the last few decades.


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 12:27 PM

MMario my dear, as Micca will tell you, I am a card carrying Christian myself, been involved with the church for nearly 3/4 of my life so far, since joining the choir in 1974. I was baptised, confirmed and married in church, as parish warden I sit on the PCC and DCC amongst other committees, I'm a Eucharistic minister, I read and have lead prayers and worship services and have been involved in missions. My priest refers to me as his token pagan, and my pagan friend call me their token Christian, so I have a foot in each camp as it were.

The 11 days was taken by act of parliament, like daylight saving time, not any church or religion, and it was done entirely to fit the social calendar of the monarch of time, because we were nearly 2 weeks behind the rest of the continent. I'm aware that my postings are being read by people of all races and religions, some of whom are not as familiar with Christian names for what has mostly been seen as pagan festivals, like Samhain for All Hallows Eve, or Eostre for Easter. In fact, there are many Christians who don't know half the festivals and their names. I try to be diplomatic and sometimes end up patronising, I'm sorry.

It is mostly the fault of the early missionaries, who were told to sweep the altars to the old gods clean, and replace them with the trappings of the new. If you want to convert a large group of people, you don't take away their opportunities to party; but giving them a different name may make you feel better about the drunkeness and debauchery that may accompany the festival.

I once led a study group that explored these festivals, we took a traditional Christmas and stripped it of everything that was considered 'pagan'. What we had left was still a very powerful Christian message, but would be almost unrecognisable as Christmas by anyone else. Hence the reason I can remember so much crap about ivy and wrens, and practically nothing of my catachism....

I'm sorry if I upset you, it was not my intention. I get tired of being told that my saviour had long blonde 'Timotei' hair, shiny white robes and the cleanest pinkest feet you ever did see...... I guess we both have some grumbles...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: MMario
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 01:07 PM

I hear you.....it just hit me the wrong way at the wrong time. I also have a "foot in both camps" - - *grin* The other night I was gritting my teeth as a young lass who "became pagan" all of two months ago read me a lecture about how:

"You stole the solstice celebration from MY faith...." etc.

Then I admit it was hard to keep from grinning as an older woman, who has decades of experience (raised roman, chose episcopalian early in life and Wicca for at least the past two decades) behind her, verbally slapped the younger down - something along the lines of "You are complaining about the theft of a holy day you have not ever celebrated in your lifetime, to a person who is celebrating as he has his entire life, by traditions far older then he is."

Oddly enough, both Christmas and Epiphany were celebrated under the old calender as well as the new, but the switch in present giving from Epiphany (Twelth Night) to Christmas occurred socially about the same time as the calender switch....

though several of my friends who grew up in the continental European community told me that when they were young, presents were still concentrated on Epiphany - and it is only within the last few decades that custom has switched over to present giving on Christmas....


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 06:04 PM

The following is an interesting quote from Leigh Hunt 'The Seer' London 1850. It is quoted in chapter 16, 'Epiphany to Candlemas', in Clement A. Miles 'Christmas Customs and Traditions: Their History and Tradition' Dover 1976. It indicates the importance of the secular festival of the Twelfth Cake held for some in the mid-19th century:

'Christmas goes out in fine style - with Twelfth Night. It is a finish worthy of the time. Christmas Day was the morning of the season; New Year's Day the middle of it, or noon; Twelfth Night is the night, brilliant with innumerable planets of Twelfth-cakes. The whole island keeps court; nay, all Christendom. All the world are kings and queens. Everybody is somebody else, and learns at once to laugh at, and to tolerate, characters different from his own, by enacting them. Cakes, characters, forfeits, lights, theatres, merry rooms, little holiday-faces, and, last not least, the painted sugar on the cakes, so bad to eat but so fine to look at, useful because it is perfect, useless except for a sight and a moral - all conspire to throw a giddy splendour over the last night of the season, and to send it to bed in pomp and colours, like a Prince'.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:33 AM

Hey Stewie, round your house for 12th night then!!!

MM, glad I didn't get too far up your nose, I try to be diplomatic, but as Micca will tell you, it ain't exactly my nature!!!

Merry Christmas!!

There, got it out of my system, I'm going to put more brandy over my christmas puddings.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: roopoo
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 07:52 AM

I acquired a cd entitled "Maypoles to Mistletoe" at Whitby this year. It is by Martyn Wyndham-Read and several others. The sleeve notes mention the original production in 1971, but state at the end that it is but a selection. Even so, the quotation that Stewie mentions is the start of track 3, "Candlemas Eve",and there are 21 tracks. The nitty-gritty: "Maypoles to Mistletoe" by Martyn Wyndham-Read and company - Country Branch CBCD 091.

By the way, while the subject has been raised,I am a morris dancing Churchwarden and PCC secretary, with a very tolerant Rector! I also make Green Men (amongst other things)out of salt dough. One Sunday the Rector took one look at my odd (purple and turquoise) socks peeking out from under a long skirt and announced that he and the other warden had decided that they WERE deliberate after all. So I hoiked the skirt right up to show the knee-breeches underneath. (This was in the days when I did plough stot dances too). At this he just announced that I was 'bloody mad'. Well, I had a danceout right afterwards. In fact he is going to get me in kit a couple of Sundays from now because I am off to Sheffield right afterwards. At least it will be a dress, albeit scarlet with trimmings. This Sunday I will have to look respectable 'cos the Bishop's coming!

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 08:11 AM

Mouldy - I've stuck my tongue out at a bishop, they ain't that imposing....

Have you ever been to the Jack in the Green festival at Hastings? - they have a Morris service in the church on the Sunday, thanks to Keith Leech, trombone playing maniac and member of Mad Jacks, and the previous incumbent. The service used to start with the morris teams processing in, thier musicians provide most of the music for the service and they dance in the churchyard afterwards.

What team are you with then?

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: roopoo
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 03:35 PM

Ah, Lizzie, but this bishop ain't been run through our gauntlet yet! None of us bar the Rector have clapped eyes on him so far, and he's been 2 years in the job. Not only that, we're in Yorkshire, and he's a Lancastrian! (I am neutral. I was born in Derbyshire). At the last count we will be 9 wardens in total, one of them having cried off. There are 3 churches with 2 wardens and the Priory with 4 in our parish. I did offer today to carry 5 staffs on each shoulder and do the job alone, being neutral! The Rector, though, is also a Lancastrian and the bishop is leading a mission for us next year, so it's best behaviour time. The last time we did it in the Priory was for the Bishop of Doncaster and there were 8 of us. He fed me the line about feeling like he was at the helm of a boat, so I had to come back with something along the lines of "Welcome to the Snaith Priory Eights!" Mind you, I did let him get the prayer of dismissal out first! I haven't been to the Jack in the Green although I know of it. There used to be a morris service in May at Southwell in Nottinghamshire at the end of the Southwell Pence relay walk and dance from Nottingham (approx 20 miles) with several local sides taking part. During the service, held in the Minster transept, 6 of the cotswold dancers (male) would dance "Glorishears" to the tune of "Lord of the Dance". The hymn "My Faith it is an Oaken Staff" would then be sung to a tune almost identical to "Monck's March". At the end of the proceedings everyone dived across the road to the pub. It was a revival of an old pilgrimage made annually to the mother church of the diocese to pay the annual quota (for want of a dirty word!). Dolphin Morris revived it in the early 80s and on the couple I went along with, their fool walked the whole lot with a processional cross and his dog, whereas the rest went in relay stages from village to village. It used to depart with a send off from the Lord mayor or Sheriff in the main square in Nottingham and then arrive in Southwell about 5pm. There are often services on the Sunday mornings of the Morris Ring "Ringmeets" when the Squires bring the staffs of office to church, should they wish, and have them blessed. I'm Squire of Terpsichore NW Morris, by the way. We're based in Castleford, and although technically mixed, only have managed to get ourselves one male dancer despite dropping clanging hints at any male who approaches. I don't dance as much as I used to, seeing as the mantle of musician got dropped onto my shoulders a few years ago. (Not that I'm any good). We now have a couple more as well who are around quite a lot and so they sometimes dust me off and wheel me out into a set! Do you dance yourself?

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:04 PM

Too fat and asthmatic to dance any longer, but did do a stint with Risebridge (never actually danced in public with them) and a scratch team we called Pissedachio, whilst out on a tour with our giant.

Your bishop sounds decidedly strange, not visiting for 2 years..... Ours was on his rounds last month, he's quite nice and didn't seem to mind that we've been too busy trying to keep our parish from going bust, to fill in all the forms we should have done.

This is getting a bit boring for others so why don't we continue this elsewhere. I'm at liz_the_squeak@ukgateway.net, why don't you join me there...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:04 PM

Too fat and asthmatic to dance any longer, but did do a stint with Risebridge (never actually danced in public with them) and a scratch team we called Pissedachio, whilst out on a tour with our giant.

Your bishop sounds decidedly strange, not visiting for 2 years..... Ours was on his rounds last month, he's quite nice and didn't seem to mind that we've been too busy trying to keep our parish from going bust, to fill in all the forms we should have done.

This is getting a bit boring for others so why don't we continue this elsewhere. I'm at liz_the_squeak@ukgateway.net, why don't you join me there...

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: bunkerhill
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 10:25 PM

If fiddle tunes count, "Breaking Up Christmas" ought to be apt for Twelfth Night. It was played at celebrations of Old Christmas, which was observed on Jan. 6 in Appalachia until sometime in '30s, according to David Schnaufer's notes on his "Swing Nine Yards of Calico" recording.


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 10:56 PM

If your museum will accept it, the final verse to the version of "The Cherry Tree Carol" that we sing says:

On the sixth day of January my birthday will be,
And the stars in the elements will tremble with glee.

We used that in the birth announcement for our third grandchild, born January 6, 1993.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: margaret
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 12:42 AM

Sandy, that sounds good; may I ask the name of the recording it's on? Markf, great idea for a fiddle tune. As it happens, we have a fiddler playing in our 18th century tavern at the event! Stewie, you seem to have an interest in Twelfth Night. We've taken a lot of our information from a really good book by Bridget Ann Henisch called "Cakes and Characters;" we recreate the cake complete with (inedible!) sugar figures on top, and we have the museum visitors take on the various silly roles, and generally have a fun time, presided over by the "Lord of Misrule." You might enjoy the book if you're not already familiar with it, and it's got great pictures! If anyone's planning to be in the Hudson Valley toward the end of December, I'd be glad to provide more info. about the event. Thanks again, all. (By the way, one of the fun things about "stolen" holidays is that they tend to get stolen over and over again. Epiphany was not only secularized in 18th-century Twelfth Night celebrations, it was totally raucous if not downright ribald.)


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 12:57 AM

And that is exactly why Cromwell banned Christmas back in the 1640's. That and he considered it fairly papist to put pastry 'Jesus's on top of the mince pies, which were real mince then......

Any songs about the Glastonbury Thorn can be sung on 12th night, as that is when it flowers, because we're back on the subject of our 11 days again. The thorn, being a gift of nature, recognizes no human measurement of time, and so flowers at Old Christmas, rather than the 'new', in fact, there are stories of villages where cuttings of the Glastonbury thorn are growing, refusing to recognise the 'New Style' Christmas, not going to church and treating one another as always, because the tree hadn't flowered, it wasn't the true Christmas...

Any more miscellaneous crap you want to know about Christmas? I've got tons of it in my head.... so why can't I remember the burglar alarm......?

LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 02:39 AM

Margaret: Caroline and I haven't recorded it, but Cindy Kallet has a nice version on her Dreaming Down a Quiet Line self-produced CD (which we carry at Folk-Legacy: CLICK HERE. Go to the "Index" page and click on the green catalog number of the Kallet listing. That'll take you to the CD description.

Where in the Hudson Valley are you and your tavern? We're just barely across the state line into Connecticut, and your place sounds most interesting. Expensive, though. Right?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 02:47 AM

A p.s. from a thoughtless poster. There's a pretty nice version of "The Cherry Tree Carol" in the DT, with tune. Put "Cherry Tree Carol" in that box up yonder and click on GO. The first option presented is probably closest to the one we sing and the tune is very close. Warning: the tune plays the last line twice, as it is normally repeated, but that repeat isn't indicated in the text. Second warning (or preference): change the last word in the ballad from "fear" to "glee." Isn't that better? And it even rhymes.

The good ol' DT just saved you the price of a CD, by golly!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 06:27 PM

Hm, stolen days, real Christmas.....

Surely pagan festivals were originally linked to the "real" calendar of nature, the true solstice when the sun is lowest in the sky, the true events in the heavens and on Earth?

Please read any of the current crop of books on the calendar, but especially "The Calendar". The reason for the date change which brought the "British" Julian calendar in line with the Continental Gregorian calendar was not just politics, it was to bring the civic calendar back in line with the astronomical reality.

Anyone celebrating the solstice on the 6th of January was seriously off beam.

It really shouldn't matter if Christian festivals are celebrated on one date rather than another. They aren't tied to nature. But pagans should surely get their astronomy right.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: margaret
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 06:34 PM

Sandy, we're in Croton-on-Hudson, and the museum is called Van Cortlandt Manor. We celebrate the Christmas holiday in the manor house itself where the wealthy mega-landowners, the Van Cortlandts, lived (and, LTS, we load down the dining room table with 18th-c. desserts including REAL mince tarts that we make with beef tongue, suet, currants, and all). We celebrate Twelfth Night at the 18th-c.tavern/ferry house that the Van Cortlandts owned but leased out to tenants. Harp playing in the manor house, fiddle and dance in the tavern, whole property lit by candles and lanterns. The tour takes about an hour, refreshments are included, and it's as participatory as you feel like making it. Costs $9 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, $5 for kids. Happens December 17, 18, 19, and 26 from 4:00 - 8:30, you can take your chances and just show up or you can make a reservation by calling (914)631-8200. If any 'catters come, be sure to introduce youself to me, I'll be in the visitor center keeping the tours flowing even though I'd rather be down in the tavern!


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 06:40 PM

Persona number two signing on...

There's a children's book called "The Thirteen days of Christmas" by Jenny Overton, which, telling the very funny story of a courtship, brings in a number of customs from those days, with some folksongs and old carols. I've read it to classes on a number of occasions.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 04:02 AM

Margaret: That sounds great, and the price is quite modest, from this area's point of view. Long drive for us, but possible. If we get there, we'll look for you.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 04:13 AM

Penny S - any chance of an ISBN on that book? I collect old traditions and folklore (most people call it crap), and that sounds like an interesting book. My library (that I used to work in, sacked for having too much time off sick with asthma...) is pathetic and if I order it now, will probably get it in time for my birthday - I'm a Virgo (shut up Micca!).

Thanks, LTS


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 11:34 AM

LTS I'll have to do the ISBN from home, but it was published both by Puffin and a hard back house. I only have the Puffin number.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Twelfth Night songs?
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 06:23 PM

Liz, the book predates ISBN!

The Thirteen Days of Christmas, by Jenny Overton, published 1972 by Faber and Faber, 1977 by Puffin.

I think it may not be a very good source, in the sense of giving more than can easily be found elsewhere. Carols come from The Oxford Book of Carols, and the Child Ballads, modernised in an anthology of verse called Young Pegasus, Part IV, arr. A A Le M Simpson, published 1936 by G Bell & Sons Ltd. One comes from Singing together, autumn 1965. A note on customs says that some are still kept today, some have been abandoned, and some were kept only in this (imaginary) town on this one Christmas.

It's a good funny story, though. I'm glad to be reminded of it, as I can use it for my literacy hour story.

Penny


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