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Yorkshire Christmas Carols


d.elliott
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Try Whilst Shepherd to the tune 'House of the Rising Sun'

Or to 'On Ilkley Moor ba Tat' with judicially repeated lines 3 (x2) and 4 (x3).

 

That's actually a hymn tune call Cranbrook, I think from the South West of England, and not sung locally. Being from foreign parts - that is :angry:

 

However I do have the best part of 15 different settings for whilst Shephrds, not including 'Greensleeves' or 'Amazing Grace' :lol:

 

Dave

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That's actually a hymn tune call Cranbrook, I think from the South West of England, and not sung locally. Being from foreign parts - that is

 

(pedant mode)

 

Kent actually. Cranbrook is roughly half way between Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.

 

(/pedant mode)

 

The last part of your comment was just a teeny bit disingenuous being as how the tune has been "adopted" by Yorkshire <_<

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That's actually a hymn tune call Cranbrook, I think from the South West of England, and not sung locally. Being from foreign parts - that is

 

(pedant mode)

 

Kent actually. Cranbrook is roughly half way between Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.

 

(/pedant mode)

 

The last part of your comment was just a teeny bit disingenuous being as how the tune has been "adopted" by Yorkshire <_<

 

Hi Toots,

 

Yes, I agree! Cranbrook is some where 'Down South' ;)

 

The Cranbrook tune may have been adopted by some in Yorkshire to sing about the fate of those without head-gear in the Ikley area, but its not commonly sung to 'Whilst Shepherds'. This tradition of 'Local Caroling' in Yorkshire is based in South Yorksire, centered around a small cluster of hill villages to the North & West of Sheffield: Worrall, Grenoside, Bradfield, Oughtibridge, Dungworth, and to some extent Ecclesfield, Stannington etc.

 

None of the singing pubs that I have attended (and I live in Oughtibridge, like beer, and sing), actually sing Whilst Shepherd to Cranbook. It is in the Worrall revised Blue Book, but only because I thought it might catch on, but it didn't. :( ,

 

Oh! and we do sing 'Pass your Glasses' to the last phrases of the tune Come Rhonda, when the pub runs short of drinking pots, so Happy New Year!

 

Dave. :P

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None of the singing pubs that I have attended (and I live in Oughtibridge, like beer, and sing), actually sing Whilst Shepherd to Cranbook. It is in the Worrall revised Blue Book, but only because I thought it might catch on, but it didn't. :(

Dave. :P

 

It caught on!

 

I 'sing' with a bunch of pub carol singers in Bradford who've been doing 'While Shepherds' to the Ilkley Moor tune for probably 30 years or more. I've heard it in other places as well, can't quite remember where but maybe the Barnsley folk scene in the 1980s. I'll phone a friend. I must admit that I always thought it was a South Yorkshire setting, so thanks for the correction.

 

We also do the 'Sweet Chiming Bells' and 'Hail Chime on' versions of 'While Shepherds', 'Hail Smiling Morn' which is pretty common round here, and 'Christmas Tree' which always goes down well in the pubs. Christmas without the carols would be no Christmas at all. Good fun.

 

Joy

 

p.s. Just reread your post about the 15 settings of 'While Shepherds'. I've long harboured a vague ambition to arrange a night singing as many versions of that carol as we can find, just because we can. If it ever comes to fruition, I'll let you know which pub to avoid on which night.

Edited by Spectacled Warbler
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p.s. Just reread your post about the 15 settings of 'While Shepherds'. I've long harboured a vague ambition to arrange a night singing as many versions of that carol as we can find, just because we can. If it ever comes to fruition, I'll let you know which pub to avoid on which night.

It'll be a long night - there are at least 400. In Puritan times it was one of the few texts that were allowed to be sung, so thats why there are so many settings. Like Yorkshire, the old carols still hung on around here long after the Victorians had sanitised the carol repertoire, and are still sung at Odcombe near Yeovil, every year. There are lots of common carols between North and South - and lots of different ones too.

 

I should add that when my daughters (25,24 and 20) came home for Christmas, the first thing to be stuck on the audio system by them was 'Chris Kringle' (The Christmas Tree) - it wouldn't have been Christmas for these three clubbers without that!

Edited by wes williams
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p.s. Just reread your post about the 15 settings of 'While Shepherds'. I've long harboured a vague ambition to arrange a night singing as many versions of that carol as we can find, just because we can. If it ever comes to fruition, I'll let you know which pub to avoid on which night.

It'll be a long night - there are at least 400. In Puritan times it was one of the few texts that were allowed to be sung, so thats why there are so many settings. Like Yorkshire, the old carols still hung on around here long after the Victorians had sanitised the carol repertoire, and are still sung at Odcombe near Yeovil, every year. There are lots of common carols between North and South - and lots of different ones too.

 

I should add that when my daughters (25,24 and 20) came home for Christmas, the first thing to be stuck on the audio system by them was 'Chris Kringle' (The Christmas Tree) - it wouldn't have been Christmas for these three clubbers without that!

 

One of the most interesting projects I had was to research the S Yorks Carols when we decided to upgrade the original Blue Book, (Worrall male Voice Choir) and I descovered the Cornish parallel Caroling Tradition, Thomas hardy's 'Under the Greenwood Tree' and the relationship with the music of the 'West Gallery' movement.

 

When I first started singing each village had its own versions and setting, now alas all blurred into one.

 

Anyway, I posed these two tunes for concertina players, I now realise that the key is not anglo friendly so I shall find another just for them

 

 

 

Anglophiles squeeze on!

 

Dave

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As I am from Sheffield but currently live in Cranbrook in Kent I can tell you exactly where it is. Draw a line between Ashford and Tunbridge Wells on your map, then draw a line between Hastings and Maidstone - the intersection roughly 15 miles each of these places is Cranbrook. This is most certainly in the South East of England the bit that points toward France :P

 

Thomas Clark a shoe maker and hat maker was a resident of Canterbury although one of his hat factories was in Cranbrook. He also played the church organ but I couldn't tell you which church. Cranbrook was a very important place in years gone by with Anglican, Catholic and three non-conformist churches all within about 500 metres of each other. One of which, the octagonal chapel was reputed to be the first prefabricated building in britain (link back to concertinas :rolleyes:).

 

I have also sung "the carols" in the Blue Ball at least once every year since 1986 (before I could legally buy a drink). In all that time I never heard "While Shepherds Watched" sung to "Cranbrook" except for at the festival of village carols.

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