Regional Carols

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alanl58, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Does anywhere other than Cornwall have "Regional" carols, that are only heard in that area?

    Currently we have two versions of "While Shepherds Watched", other than the conventional one. Played to "Lingham" (Number 35 in the SA Carol books, Hark the Glad Sound)) is the Cornish version - or is it like this elsewhere? Then we have "Boscastle Jack" a very local version which we played with Newquay Choral Society last Christmas, which was resurrected by a local Bard and arranged for brass band by our MD.

    Then there is "The St Gennys Carol" - Glory in the Highest, very popular with the locals, but little heard elsewhere I guess.

    Anyone else suffer 6 verses of Lingham each time the Band plays carols?

  2. CubbRep

    CubbRep Member

    How about Coventry Carol?
  3. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    There is a big tradition of regional carols around Sheffield, particularly in the Stannington area. These tend to be folk song based and are predominately sung in the local pubs.

    I believe While Shepherds Watched is sung to the tune of On Ilkley Moor Baht'at (sp?)
  4. flugel_fancy

    flugel_fancy Member

  5. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    We played them friday night in a local pub near Sheffield and everyone in there was singing the "local" version of the words. I can't repeat them as they may offend!!
  6. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    Oh yes. Tenderly sleeping (Meltham). Little bilberry, mistletoe bough elsewhere in that area.

    I suspect these will gradually die out as "local" ceases to exist as a concept.
  7. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    Many years ago singing ' While Sheperds ' to the tune of ' Ilkley Moor ' was more common to the most popular tune of ' Winchester Old ' sung these days .

    In Saddleworth they sing While Shepherds to a tune called Jackson .

    In the Salvation Army carol books the tune ' Praise Ye The Lord ' is also known as ' Hail Smiling Morn ' sung at Whitsuntide .
  8. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    In Oldham we had two carols on handwritten varnished cards called "Anne" and "Back Lane" - no idea what the words were. In Gretton we have the "Gretton Hark".
  9. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    It's not so much regional, more descriptive - a slow miserable dirge describes life here perfectly! ;-)
  10. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    I was just going to chip in then and say I really like Coventry Carol when I realised you were actually on about Coventry itself....I guess that's your prerogative seeing as you live there, you should know!!
  11. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Then there is "The St Gennys Carol" - Glory in the Highest, very popular with the locals, but little heard elsewhere I guess.


    Glory in the Highest is widley used within The Salvation Army, Has been a favorite of mine for many years We also do a version of While shepards watched to the tune Sweet Chimming Christmas Bells
  12. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    Oh no... It's minor an complative! My most favourite to baffle the locals with! !;)
  13. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    The carol is beautiful, unlike Coventry itself.
  14. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Yes the "Coventry Carol" is good, and I like the arrangement in the SA book "Sounds of Christmas" - and Coventry city centre is not all that bad! I quite liked the concrete shopping centre, it reminded me so much of Crawley and Milton Keynes.

    But I was more interested in the "pub" style carols sang to unconventional tunes, and I just hope that someone will write them down and record them - as we did with the North Cornwall Carols - before they are lost forever.

    I am not a composer or arranger, but would be happy to transcribe handwritten manuscripts if this is what it takes to preserve these carols, but I am sure there must be more able people than I who could undertake this task for our heritage?

    Perhaps we could publish them all as a "Book of UK Carols"? after all, no-one would appear to own the copyright for them........!

    Happy Carolling...

  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    There is a academic, Ian Russell, who is already researching this ...

    Dr. Ian Russell
  16. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

  17. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    [FONT=times new roman, Times New Roman, Times]Very interesting.... I thought, until I had a look at it:
    it lists a few mainly POPULAR carols, hints at some communities who do it different, but doesn't exactly say what; has lists of "tune names" that may or may not be the well known ones, and rounds it off with
    [/FONT][FONT=times new roman, Times New Roman, Times]"We regret that copies of all other publications and recordings are now unavailable due to the demand for them."

    Some music images, midi or sound clips might have made this less than a total waste of Internet Bandwidth :-(

    All the more annoying when a very imprecise and non-academic rudimentary search on Google shows listings of the very publications referred to, and includes many sound clips! Many of the tunes in those clips are very familiar to those of us who have played the Salvation Army Christmas books, so they are perhaps not as rare as we are lead to believe.

    [/FONT]The West Gallery Music association site has several references of interest ( and there is a recording of Sheffield Carols at the "Sheffield Live!" web site:! specifically the podcast here:

    which is newly recorded. (Some of these carols are distinctly different, but not all - put in your ear-plugs for the musical mutilation of "Christians Awake!" or is that why folk singers put a finger in one ear?)
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It's difficult trying to find any information on actual carols using google because they were banned from public use by Oliver Cromwell. Very few survive from that time and the Victorians re-introduced as part of christmas festivities. The origin of caroling (wassailing) is actually pagan.
  19. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    On the contrary.... there is a lot of information there to be had, most significantly what it SOUNDS like!

    Whilst a picture may well be able to replace a thousand words, music is best heard rather than described!

  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    You would have to buy the discs to find out though! The course of time has a happy knack of modifying content as society and needs evolve if communicated by hand and mouth. The Victorians were great at re-inventing tradition and of course, carols. Do we take the source of carols as being Victorian English/Scots/Welsh/Irish/Cornish or what?

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