Festive Folk Song Bash
Science and Technology • 20m
As a way of life, as heritage, and as art, folk singing has long met at the crossroads between the past and the present. It draws old songs into common memory, hearkens back to a simpler way of living, reminds us of the communities that came before us and enshrines new traditions into living memory. But folk singing is also intertwined with revolt, and its lyrics can often being powerful reminders of the way that communities throughout the years – including our own - have protested their situation and hoped for better futures. In a tiny village with a big heart in Devon, folk singer Jim Causley revives songs that are in danger of falling out of common memory and also creates his own songs for the present time, in a wonderful celebration of Christmas. He covers everything from the cry of tin to the very first iteration of Father Christmas, to the wassail tradition in which a fire is lit, brewed cider is slurped from a bowl, and men and women sing and dance in the frosty night. In this Christmas special, Sam Willis meets him to discuss and perform in a rousing selection of carols, which tell us a bit about both where we have come from and where we might want to go forward in the next year.
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