Friday, 12 December 2014

Seasonal Surprise


Back in the day I used to lead groups of walkers at many locations throughout England and Wales and this included at Christmas too. On one particularly cold and frosty evening we were returning through a stone-built village at the end of a long but invigorating tromp across the moors when somebody mentioned carol singing. Anecdote followed anecdote as they tend to when you're weary and looking forward to dinner. "In Yorkshire" somebody offered "they sing 'While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night' to the tune of 'Ilkley Moor Bah t' 'at'". Before long we were all singing lustily and loudly while curtains in cottage windows twitched to see what on earth was happening - mighty dread, perhaps, having seized their troubled minds!

For those who've not heard this version of the song, to what is actually an old hymn tune, here's a clip from YouTube. Be warned, nothing happens for the first two minutes of the video but what follows is worth the wait - or you can skip the first two minutes of course.



Hope you enjoyed that! The singers were of course members of a choir, The Andover Museum Loft Singers to be precise. If you click on THIS LINK you can find out all about them, watch more videos and if you like what you hear you could even purchase their CD.


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Many of us have been puzzled by the appearance of verification on our blogs. But none can be more puzzling than this:

Maybe a robot would understand....?

Take care.

16 comments:

  1. that was quite lovely, I've never heard it sung that way.

    I LOVE your image BTW

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  2. I love flash mobs! This is lovely! These singers have wonderful voices.

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  3. How lovely, I enjoyed that. And couldn't help but smile at the word verification picture. As for your comment, thank you very much for all the information you gave me on the crow in my post. Found that fascinating.

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  4. What a lovely story! I would have loved to have been on that joyous walk with you!

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  5. I love flash mobs too and wish I could be present at one like this - puzzlingly, most young people I know think they are embarrassing and cheesy.

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  6. What a lovely hymn John ... worth waiting the 2 mins for. I can imagine it would have been a real sense of camaraderie tomping across the moors singing together on a cold and misty eve.

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  7. I've never seen (or heard) anything quite like that; it was wonderful. And your first picture is a stunner.

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  8. That was lots of fun, John. What do you mean nothing happened for the first two minutes? It was worth watching for the lady picking her teeth. And do you think they felt bad for scaring off that man in the forefront?

    I love the old traditional English Christmas carols. Nothing better.

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  9. That was a performance filled with The Christmas Spirit! Now, all I have got to prove is that I'm not a robot. You have here got a simple one (I suspect the answer is 1). If you try to use another profile, you always get a version that looks like it was written by a monkey. For a time it was easier if one was also logged on (at the same time) with a Google-account - you was only asked for three numbers. However, lately I have very often be given what you call "The Royal Run-around" where I always end up where I started and have had to answer with the Google account. This rather beats the purpose of moving away from Blogger (they destroyed my photos). Oh, well - that's life.

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  10. Lovely Christmas story and photo!
    My favorite Christmas songs are the old English carols.

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  11. Beautiful snowy photo. I bet you are a fun hike leader. You know all the backroads, nooks, and crannies.

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  12. There is nothing like a good cold, crispy walk in winter, especially after eating the huge turkey dinner! I loved the choir. I'd love to experience a flash mob! The closest I got was last week with a load of Santas in the Santacon - but they were drunk!

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  13. Oh yes John, they certainly do sing it to that tune up here!

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  14. Fantastic! We could use a little bit of that kind of thing down here at the moment!

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  15. Oh no! Am I the only one who couldn't see the link :( I do know the song though.. I would have loved to be on one of your walking trips John!

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  16. Thank you for the link--it set me on a search for the history of the tune--Cranbrook--and I was able to find a printable pdf. The words to the folksong are a bit gruesome!
    The way Shepherds Watched was sung by the choir reminds me of the sound of shape note/Sacred harp singing.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll try to answer any questions via a comment or e-mail within the next day or two (no hard questions, please!).