There are plenty of other places that Cornish Carolling will be happening from East to West this winter but here are the dates of not only the carolling around the Redruth area but also a couple of talks which Sally and Hilary will be giving about their book Hark! The Glad Sound of Cornish Carols.
Our 2017 Hark! tour got off to a fine start at The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies’ Winter Event in Redruth on Saturday 4th November, where we gave a talk about our exploits and research. The talk was musically illustrated by The Red River Singers singing some of the carols featured in the book.
Here we are now during a few golden days of Autumn and I have a chance to catch up on news about the Carol Book research.
Research: We spent the Spring and Summer visiting the Cornish Studies library in Redruth (like a sweet shop to us!) gathering information on all the publications made about Cornish Carols. Unlike our previous book on the pub songs, there is a wealth of writing about this topic going as far back as Davies Gilbert (1823) and Sandys (1852) right up to the present day re-publications by the Old Cornwall Society of some of the old Carol Books; so much to read and absorb!
We were very excited to discover in the library a notebook, probably dating from the late 1700s and possibly from the Hayle area, with four beautifully handwritten carols, two of which are in our singers’ repertoire; A Virgin Most Pure and To Mirth Inclined (although there were 28 verses in the notebook!) One other, Gods Dear Son, has now entered the Cornish instrumental tradition as An Dufynyans, which my band, Dalla, recently recorded! That only leaves one, called Remember Oh Thou Man, which is in both the Hutchins manuscript collection from the Penzance area (approx 1825) and in Sandys’ however the tune in the latter collection is the same as one in an even older British collection called the Melismata from 1611!
Interviews: As well as visiting the library and doing lots of reading we have been fortunate enough to visit several people with knowledge of Carols in their area and have now recorded a wealth of memories and stories from Polperro to St Ives!
We have a few more interviews to go before we do our final recordings this Christmas. I’m glad to say we won’t be quite as busy as last year and our dates for these Carol trips so far are:
Monday 28th November – Carol concert, Parkhouse Centre, Bude
Sunday 11th December – Merritt Concert, Redruth Wesley Chapel
Saturday 17th December – Cotehele Wassail, Calstock
Saturday 24th December – Falmouth Docks
We have heard that some Cornish carols are sung at Camelford on Boxing Day, so if anyone knows about this we’d love to hear from you!
Sally and Hilary are at it again! After the success of their first book Shout Kernow, celebrating the pub songs of Cornwall they are once more planning to travel around Cornwall to all kinds of places and venues but this time their mission is to record the carols of Cornwall being sung in situ ‘where they do belong to be’. They hope to represent a variety of locations: church, chapel, pub, out on the street, people’s houses, etc. showing how our carols are embedded in the communities from which they come, selecting ones that are most popular or meaningful to the area they come from or to the people who sing them.
Here’s some of the places they’ll be visiting(nearly all in the month of December!):
Bodmin, Bolingey, Boscastle, Bridge, Bude, Calstock, Falmouth, Four Lanes, Halzephron, Luxulyan, Padstow, Paul, Pencarrow, Penzance, Polperro, Pool, Port Isaac, Redruth, St Neot, St Day, St Ives, St Just, Stithians, Treen, Tregajorran, Troon,
..and some of the carols too:
Boscastle Jack, Stratton Carol, Can Dilly, Bodmin Wassail, Treen While Shepherds, Lyngham, Hark The Glad Sound, Lo He Comes, Hail Sacred Day, Awake Ye Nations, Choir Of Angels, Arise & Hail, Pendeen While Shepherds, Hail Smiling Morn, Newlyn While Shepherds, Sound, Sound, Hellesveor, See The Morning, St Day, Glory, Glory, Stithians While Shepherds, Harky,Harky, Jesse, Rouse,Rouse, Polperro While Shepherds (Xmas Time), Holly & Ivy, What Heavenly Music, Carol Carol Christians, A Virgin Unspotted, Redruth Wassail, Wassail The Silver Apple, Lo The Eastern Sages, Calm On The Listening Ear.
As you can imagine the cost of this travelling will be quite large so to raise money for this we have produced a pack of 6 unique Cornish Christmas cards for sale at £5 (+ £1.50 P&P). Please contact Hilary at email@example.com if you would like to support us and order a pack!