John Kirkpatrick celebrates Christmas again in this wonderful album of folk music that looks at the traditional customs and practices found in English Folklore at midwinter.
The album also points to the fact that much still happens today but it has been clouded by a different layer known as traditional. In other words Kirkpatrick takes us back beyond the image of tradition painted by Victorian England to a time of midwinter celebration where there was symbolism in ancient custom of the old year dying and the New Year being born.
The album has rich pagan mystery and explores the struggles of poor people in midwinter with little food as they celebrated the coming of the New Year and new crops.
Wassail song celebrates the sharing of the Wassail bowl. Hunting the wren was a traditional custom on the day after Christmas when people sought the strength of the King of birds. Poor old horse, is a song about the Christmas horse in the Christmas play. Sword dance song and tunes celebrates the custom of sword dancing in Yorkshire. This has many interesting traditional tunes.
Other tracks show us celebrations of the Derby Ram, midwinter nature, Christmas day, Magic and miracles and Christian elements.
There are two original songs by Kirkpatrick as well as the familiar such as The Holly and the Ivy.
The album has the support of some great musicians such as Rosie Cross on Hammond Dulcimer, Bassoon and vocals, Georgina Le Faux of fiddle, vocals, Mandolin, Guitar and Viola, Jane Threlfall on Mandolin, Mandola and vocals, Carl Hogsden on Mandolin Guitar and vocals and Michael Gregory on Percussion and drums. John Kirkpatrick plays Button Accordion, Concertina and vocals.
This is a terrific folk albums that is highly recommended.