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Frost And Fire: A Calender Of Ritual And Magical Songs

Watersons Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 22.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Oct 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Topic
  • ASIN: B000005907
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,901 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Here We Come A-Wassailing
2. The Derby Ram
3. Jolly Old Hawk
4. Pace-Egging Song
5. Seven Virgins (The Leaves Of Life)
6. The Holly Bear A Berry
7. Hal-An-Tow
8. Earlsdon Sword Dance Song
9. John Barleycorn
10. Harvest Song: We Gets Up In The Morn
11. Souling Song
12. Christmas Is Now Drawing Near At Hand
13. Herod And The Cock
14. Wassail Song
15. God Bless The Master
16. The Bitter Withy
17. Emmanuel
18. Idumea
19. Sound, Sound Your Instruments Of Joy
20. Come All Ye Faithful Christians
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb "calendar of ritual and magical songs" 6 Jan 2003
By The Librarian VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Although this is an early collection by the Waterson Family, I think it represents the peak of their achievement. The harmonies are slick and close, despite being "folky", and the songs themselves, being of "ritual and magic", have a haunting and mysterious quality absent from much of the "laddy -i -o" type of folk music. The songs follow the passage of the year, from the opening "Here we come a-wassailing" at Christmas, on through "Hal-an-tow" (sung at the Helston Flora Day in May)and the Autumn "Souling song". The voices have great power and authenticity, and the whole album has a satisfying unity. If you like unaccompanied voices, performing at the top of their form, buy this. Since this was recorded in the mid sixties, we have lost Lal Waterson, and it is marvellous to remember her singing solo. Also, of course, Norma has gone on to become Mrs Martin Carthy and found a dynasty of folk royalty! Interesting from every conceivable angle, a wonderful album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ritual and customs throughout the year 1 May 2011
Format:Audio CD
There are many traditions throughout england that have been celebrated through Folk music. This Debut album by the Watersons takes us on a journey of a year of celebrations from December to January.
The Watersons were an English folk group who performed mainly traditional songs with little or no accompaniment. Their distinctive sound comes from their closely-woven harmonies. The Watersons at the time of this debut recording were Norma, Mike, and Lal Waterson, with their cousin John Harrison. This release was their first album. Frost and Fire was recorded and released in 1965. It was a tremendous success and was awarded the "Melody Maker" Album of the Year. This was rare for a debut album.
Frost and Fire is an incredibly strong album. It begins in Winter with "Here we come a wassailing" a traditional song sung at midwinter as ploughing time was near and plough workers sang and danced through the village in return for money, food or drink in the hope of luck for all. The next song "The Derby Ram" was a song used in the custom of worshiping gods in the form of animals. Then "Jolly old Hawk" is a song discovered by Cecil Sharp and represents songs used for the customs of keeping demons away during the period around the twelve days of christmas when the light from the sun was at its weakest. The recording moves on to Spring with "Pace egging song". This song represents the songs that were used to celebrate the new sign of life through spring. The pace eggers begged for eggs a symbol of new life. Sometimes this was accompanied with the Mummers death and resserection play. "Seven virgins or the leaves of life" is a christian based ballad carol for the eastertime. And "The holly bears a berry" is a carol is also for easter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas through Spring - Real Traditional Music 22 Feb 2002
By R. P. Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This collection of seasonal music contains predominantly winter songs, which provide a true antidote to the schmaltzy, treacly, over-sentimental claptrap that assaults our ears in every shopping mall at Christmas time. The sleeve notes are excellent too. This is bare-boned, raw, unaccompanied (bar track 17) and truly wonderful music. Their voices have a nasal quality reminiscent of traditional bluegrass, but very definitely English in intonation. These are folksingers at the height of their powers...
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning season cycle 2 May 2000
By Edward J. Whitelock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Anyone introduced (as I was) to the Watersons via "For Pence and Spicy Ale" will appreciate this fine collection. Haunting, passionate, and beautiful.
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