Monday, December 9, 2019
Heart’s Delight - Islington Christmas Carols, live at The Rooms this Thursday!
“The Moon Shines Bright, And The Stars Give Light”
The Heart’s Delight - Islington Christmas Carols
The Rooms, St. John's
2:30pm, Thursday, Dec 12th
If you grew up in Heart’s Delight - Islington, your Christmas memories might include waking up late at night to the sound of community men reverently singing two ancient carols, passed down for over a century, in the darkened porch of your home. Other communities in the area, such as Cavendish and Green's Harbour, also once practiced a version of this house-to-house caroling, but today the tradition remains strongest in Heart’s Delight-Islington. Join folklorist Dale Jarvis (and a busload of carolers) in conversation with the local tradition bearers who are working, and singing, to keep this old Christmas custom shining bright.
Cost is free, In partnership with the Mummers Festival
photo courtesy Geraldine Legge.
Monday, November 25, 2019
Rehearsing the Heart's Delight-Islington Christmas Carols (and some archival audio).
We've been doing some work to document and share the two traditional Christmas carols that were traditionally sung by men door-to-door on Christmas Eve in the community of Heart's Delight-Islington. The group above will be performing at The Rooms as part of the the afternoon Coffee and Culture session on December 12th.
We have a couple archival recordings of the carols, none of which are of exceptional audio quality, but they will give you an idea of the tune.
First up are two recordings from an audio tape entitled "Ht's. Delight-Is. Carolers 1970-1971" from the collection of Edwin Bishop. Edwin writes,
"As far as I can recall I recorded it myself at my sister's house (Harry and Elva Morgan) on Northeast Side. I can’t recall most of the names but pretty sure Lewis Legge or Clayton Reid was the leader. My brother James and Jim Reid, Hedley Fost and Gilbert were most likely there."
Download version one as MP3
Download version two as MP3
Next up, in this recording, Joe Crocker, Jim Reid, Fred Fost of Heart's Delight-Islington sing the carols. Recorded early 1980s. Thanks to Shirley Crocker Rockwood for the copy of the recording.
Download the MP3 here
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