Hark! The Glad Sound of Cornish Carols – a new book for 2017

Having sung many carols popular in Cornwall over the years (starting with Lyngham as a teenager), I knew how special they were to this part of the world. I loved the canons and flourishes of the Victorian composers; the dance feel of the old ‘curls’ – ‘carol’ originally meant to ‘dance’; and the bare, plaintive harmonies of the mediaeval ones.

I began singing carols as an adult: Lyngham, then St Day and Redruth Wassail. I wanted to go carol singing and needed others to sing harmonies! So the Tregajorran Singers were formed in 1997, and I remember when we first tackled Merritt’s Hark the Glad Sound, we were so chuffed to get it up and running! Another carol we learnt was Awake Ye Nations which we got from a songbook from our Treggy Chapel, unaware that my Mum and Dad had also picked it up in Australia and were singing it in East Cornwall calling it Wakey Wakey! We now sing 25 Cornish carols but I am also aware of the many carols sitting unsung in the back of books such as Dunstan’s Cornish Song Book, Canow Kernow, and Strains of Ancient Mystery.

The Plan for this book will be similar to our previous publication, Shout Kernow which will be to travel to particular places to record the carols being sung in situ ‘where they do belong to be’, so Hellesveor in St Ives, and Rouse, Rouse in Padstow. As well as on particular occasions/events – Redruth Wassail, Bodmin Wassail, Picrous Eve, St Just Feast, etc. We also wanted to represent a variety of locations: church, chapel, pub, out on the street, people’s houses, etc. Carols are embedded in the communities. We hope to select ones that are most popular or meaningful to the area they come from or to the people who sing them.

The book will contain harmonised scores (as close as possible to what is recorded or written by the composer), two CDs of the songs sung in situ, backgrounds to the songs and composers and personal memories of the people who sing them plus pictures and photos old and new.

To help us with the costs of research we have produced a pack of 6 Cornish Christmas cards for sale at £5 (+ £1.50 P&P). Please contact Hilary at hilary-fenten@hotmail.co.uk if you would like to order a pack

Hark! Christmas Card
Hark! Christmas Card