Episode three of the Folklife Today Podcast is ready for listening! Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on iTunes, or with your usual podcatcher.
Our latest podcast presents some of our favorite Christmas songs. In this blog post, I’ll present the full versions of all the songs. I’ll link to their online homes, which are in three general locations: the Library of Congress website, the Association for Cultural Equity, and the Lomax Kentucky Recordings. All the materials are in the American Folklife Center’s archive, except the podcast-exclusive curatorial commentary and the last song, also a podcast exclusive.
At the links below, you’ll find catalog record information for the songs, as well as the audio itself. Here goes!
We begin the podcast with excerpts from three versions of “The Cherry Tree Carol.” Stephanie Hall wrote about the song in the blog post at this link. Two of the versions we played were from Alan Lomax’s Kentucky collections, and one from one of Lomax’s radio shows. You can find the full recordings at the following links:
Back Where I Come From: Christmas Singing Traditions, including “The Cherry Tree Carol” by Burl Ives. (NOTE: Flash player is required to play this program).
We continue with two songs from the Juan B. Rael Collection. You can find the entire collection at this link. Stephanie Hall wrote about the tradition of these songs in the blog post at this link. The individual songs are at the links below:
We followed with a song from Jean Ritchie, which you can find online at the link below, over at the Association for Cultural Equity.
We went on to present several versions of the spiritual generally known as “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” including the following:
We then played a related French-language song from Alan Lomax’s 1938 Michigan recordings. I wrote about these singers in this blog post, where you can also see film footage of them singing this song. It was silent footage, later synchronized with the audio recording, which was made separately. Find the full audio at the link below:
We closed out with a podcast exclusive, the AFC mummers performing “The Wassail Song,” or “Gloucestershire Wassail.” I discussed the song in this blog post about mumming (see note 11). The recording in the podcast isn’t a Library collection item, we just sang it in the studio for the podcast. You can see this year’s mummers in the photo above, but to hear us sing the song, you’ll have to go to this link and download the episode!