CD, Album, Folk Music,

3 in stock


CD9 cover

Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band were first brought together in 1984 for a BBC Radio 2 broadcast of Christmas carols. This became the basis of the album A Tapestry of Carols (Saydisc CD-SDL 366) which was enthusiastically received by the press and the public. As a result, Maddy and the band gave three U.K. concert tours and made several TV and radio appearances. Another Radio 2 commission led to their recording Sing Lustily And With Good Courage (Saydisc CD-SDL 383), a collection of gallery hymns which was also acclaimed. While Maddy and The Carnival Band are happy to maintain their separate identities and careers, they enjoy these occasional collaborations which give them the chance to combine their different styles and talents.

Since medieval times, carols and dancing have gone hand in hand; in fact the word carol probably comes from the old French `carole’ meaning a round dance. Today’s Christmas carols are a far cry from the sung dances of the middle ages – on this record there are hymns, spirituals, lullabies, feasting and wassail songs as well as dance carols. So what makes them all `carols’? Partly the plain fact that they are sung around Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus, but more importantly their combination of good tunes with simple words to express the religious feelings of ordinary people. In addition, they contain a strong feeling of celebration which means that secular carols like The Boar’s Head and dance tunes like Old Joe Clark can rub shoulders with Away In A Manger and a Scottish cradle song. So there’s no irreverence intended in this motley collection of songs and dances spanning five centuries. In fact, the meeting of heaven and earth, the divine and the human, is what Christmas is about.

Track Listing

1. The Boar’s Head
2. Away In A Manger
3. My Dancing Day
4. Monsieur Charpenter’s Christmas Stomp
5. See Amid The Winter’s Snow
6. A Boy Was Born
7. Poor Little Jesus
8. Turkey In The Straw/Whiskey Before Breakfast
9. Wassail!
10. Joy To The World
11. Cradle Song
12. Shepherds Rejoice
13. Old Joe Clark
14. Ane Sang Of The Birth Of Christ (Balulalow)
15. Monsieur Charpenter’s Christmas Swing
16. Quem Pastores
17. While Shepherds Watched
18. I Saw Three Ships