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  Barton, Para, Paton - Twas On a Night Like This

Barton, Para, Paton - Twas On a Night Like This

In the Bleak Midwinter

Kentucky Wassail

Silver Star Hornpipe

Chocolate Burro

Christmas Day in the Morning

Christmas Hornpipe

Dark December

Every Star Shall Sing a Carol

Here We Come A-Wassailing

Holly Bears a Berry, The

Holly Tree Carol

Infant Holy

In the Bleak Midwinter

Kentucky Wassail

Last Month in the Year

Mary Had a Baby

New Year Round

Peace Round

Quaker Benediction

Silver Star Hornpipe

Skater's Waltz

Sweet Lamb

Sweetly, the Little Bells Ring

Twas On a Night Like This

Under the Mistletoe Bough

Christmas Legacy


Christmas is a time of celebration and joy; it is also a time of reflection, reverence,
and love. For this recording, we have chosen songs and melodies that express both
aspects of the holiday season: the welcoming of the winter solstice and the celebration
of the wondrous birth.

We've wanted to make this recording for a long time. Over the years, Cathy Barton
and Dave Para have developed a unique repertoire of seasonal songs and tunes,
and we have learned a number of unusual ones as well. The four of us love singing
together and hope to do much more of it in the future. We were delighted that
Ed Trickett and our sons, David and Robin, could join us on some of the songs.
Many thanks, too, to Skip Gorman for his inspired fiddle accompaniments and to
David Paton for his beautiful contributions on English concertina.

Our material has been drawn from a wide variety of sources, traditional and contemporary,
American and European, ranging from the Shetland islands to Alabama and Texas,
from a lilting Spanish carol to a delightful ragtime tune learned from an old
music box and rendered here by Dave Para's guitar (and banjo] with Cathy Barton's
hammered dulcimer. A few of the songs and tunes may be familiar to you, but we
trust that most of them will offer fresh alternatives for your holiday listening
and music-making.

Here, then, is a collection of songs and melodies of spirited wassail ("be healthy"
or "hale"), together with many of a more spiritual nature: carols of simple faith
and songs that speak of a precious hope for the future of humankind.

We invite you to' share them with us, and with your family and friends.

Sandy and Caroline Paton

Sharon, Connecticut; 1989

Take the Golden Ring concept, add a splendid collection of unusual Christmas
songs and tunes, bring in Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Sandy, Caroline and David
Paton, Ed Trickett's guitar and harmonies, Skip Gorman's fiddle, and Gordon Bok
to offer a Quaker Benediction, and you have a Folk-Legacy Christmas recording.
Kentucky Wassail; Christmas Day in the Morning; In the Bleak Midwinter; Sweetly,
the Little Bells Ring; Sweet Lamb; Infant Holy; Mary Had a Baby; Holly Tree Carol;
Under the Mistletoe Bough; Every Star Shall Sing a Carol; Dark December; Last
Month of the Year; 'Twas On a Night Like This; Silver Star Hornpipe; The Holly
Bears a Berry/Oh, Come, Little Children; Chocolate Burro; Skater's Waltz/Christmas
Hornpipe; Here We Come A-Wassailing; New Year Round; Quaker Benediction;
Peace Round. Also available as a cassette.


Of all our seasonal festivals, Christmas is the best kept, which is partly why
it carries such a complexity of meanings and why we eagerly anticipate its coming
every year. Much of our Christmas folklore reaches back through centuries, and
we carry it on yet, though sometimes unaware of some of its original intentions.
We credit St. Francis with first democratizing Christmas, arousing in common people
an affectionate devotion to a little baby, who, though God Incarnate, suffers
the cold winter and the rough manger bed. The Christmas story is a celebration
of simple humanity, and we therefore associate it with what we hold most dear:
family, friends, brotherhood, peace.

Francis is also credited with awakening the "carol spirit" in the Christmas festival.
For most adult Americans, Christmas carols comprise the strongest folk-singing
tradition we have left, and at Christmas we are folksingers all.

For the two of us, this tradition has been extended by commercial recordings of
Christmas music. Every year, the records came out with the ornaments, stayed stacked
by the hi- fi and were played over and over for weeks until we wistfully packed
them away in January. They helped us keep the old favorites that we sang in church
and school and told us something about their origins. These recordings also introduced
us to the musical traditions of other cultures to which we as yet had no access.
These records provided the earliest sources for some of the music here, and we
sincerely hope we have added to that tradition.

We will remember 1989 affectionately for making this album, but also as the year
in which we acquired our first house. These two are well related, as Christmas
highlights the warmth of having a home to shelter your memories and share with
family and friends. And, as Bob Coltman, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, wrote us,
"even your music sounds its best in a place you really love."

But, as Bob well knows, it is a special house in which we recorded this music
before you. For more than 20 years, this house has welcomed musicians of many
and great talents and given some of their music a home. This house in the Connecticut
Berkshires is more than a recording studio, however. It's a real house where babies
are born and raised, meals are cooked and shared, friends laugh and love, where
real people Live and bring integrity to their music. At this house, we have come
to know its proprietors, Sandy and Caroline Paton, their sons, David and Robin,
and to cherish them as friends and their music as inspiration. At this house we
have found good friends in Skip Gorman and Ed Trickett, whom we're privileged
to have contribute to this project. It is a house we love to visit and hate to
leave. So, gratefully, we sing, "God bless this house, from the bottom of our

And yours as well, dear listener.

Cathy Barton and Dave Para

Boonville, Missouri; 1989


Our Price: $9.98

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