Week 17: In Dessexshire as it befell, Gaudete

Two more Christmas songs – I’m taking the view that it’s still Christmas until we get to Twelfth Night. These are both religious (in rather different ways) and both feature multi-part harmonies. These particular songs also have a personal connection.

38 years ago, I heard an extraordinary song on Top of the Pops. As a direct result I became a huge fan of Steeleye Span (and a vague admirer of Shirley Collins, June Tabor and the Albions), and learned several traditional songs that I still know. A few years later punk came along, but that’s another story.

8 years ago, I heard an extraordinary song on Mixing It. As a direct result I discovered Anne Briggs and Nic Jones, which led in turn to Tony Rose, Shirley Collins (again), June Tabor (again), Peter Bellamy… and the journey continues.

These are two landmarks in my personal discovery of folk, in other words. Hope I’ve done them justice!

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