Winter Songs & Folk Carols

By Natasha Hood, Workshop Leader

Did you know there are over 300 known versions of ‘While Shepherds Watched’ out there?! In days gone by, the words of this carol (among many others) were put to existing folk tunes, often with different villages or regions becoming associated with a particular version.

There is so much fascinating lore and history surrounding both the carols that are still known today and, even more so, amongst many of the much older, largely forgotten, ones. Those that most of us older generations are still familiar with from our own childhoods tend to be Victorian, stemming very much from within the Church, and tell the religious story of the birth and nativity of Christ.

Outside of this, is a huge wealth of ancient carols, much more ‘folky’ in genre – describing winter scenes, and the coming together to feast, drink and make merry at the dark time of the year when company and good cheer was the heart and soul of rural life. These songs would have been sung around the village streets and farmsteads, connecting neighbour to neighbour. They would have been sung in cottage and in pub, around a fire, or by candle-light.

There is a strong tradition of folk carol singing still alive and well today, particularly in Northern England. Certain Sheffield pubs, for example, are renowned for the lusty, hearty singing of these old tunes, often in glorious harmony.

So it’s something of this passion, and joy, and earthy celebration that we would love to create together at this one-day singing workshop. We are attempting to promote and revive old and forgotten Christmas carols in Norfolk.

When: 2nd December, 10.30am-4pm
Where: Weybourne village hall (near Sheringham)
Cost: £30
Contact: to book or for further info

Added October 2023