[SCA-Dance] Carols for Dancing

Mary Railing mrailing at kiva.net
Mon Dec 17 12:49:53 EST 2007

I'd like to call people's attention to a public radio program I heard last 
night, which is also available on the web at www.wgbh.org/carols

Strictly speaking, it's not so much about carols in the medieval sense as 
about renaissance tunes that became Christmas songs. Narration about the 
connections between renaissance dance and Christmas music is interspersed 
with wonderful performances of the dance tunes by the Renaissonics.

I'd known about "Official Bransle" being the tune for "Ding Dong Merrily 
on High" and "Greensleeves" becoming "What Child is This?", but I did not 
know that Arbeau's Gavotte is a Christmas song in Provence, or that 
someone wrote lyrics to courante music about the shepherds running to 

You can pay attention to the narration and see both the persistance of 
folk traditions and the impact of modern revivals on our Christmas 
celebrations, or you can just listen to some very danceable arrangements 
of music that should be familiar in either a Christmas or an SCA context.  I 
recommend looking up this program while it is still available online.

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