Christmas Day in the Morning
Every Star Shall Sing a Carol
Here We Come A-Wassailing
Holly Bears a Berry, The
Holly Tree Carol
In the Bleak Midwinter
Last Month in the Year
Mary Had a Baby
New Year Round
Silver Star Hornpipe
Sweetly, the Little Bells Ring
Twas On a Night Like This
Under the Mistletoe Bough
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; and 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 hearts."
And yours as well, dear listener.
Cathy Barton and Dave Para
Boonville, Missouri; 1989
Related Products :
Barton, Para, Paton - Twas On a Night Like This Barton, Para, Paton - Twas On a Night Like This: A Christmas Legacy $9.98
Category : Just Folk-Legacy
Category : American Folk Music
Category : The Golden Ring Series