Old Christmas (1)

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OLD CHRISTMAS [1]. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Kentucky. A Mixolydian/Major. AEae tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune bears no relation to West Virginia fiddler French Carpenter's "Old Christmas Morning." The title can be found in lists of tunes played at the Berea, Kentucky, 1915 fiddle contest. Alan and Elizabeth Lomax recorded tunes with the "Old Christmas" title in 1937 for the Library of Congress from two different Kentucky fiddlers, Boyd Asher (for which see "Old Christmas (2)") and George C. Nicholson.

The term 'Old Christmas' refers to the date of Christmas prior to the introduction of the Georgian Calendar in the mid-18th century, (which fell on January 6th in the Georgian system). Old Christmas continued to be celebrated in isolated pockets in the Appalachians well into the latter 19th century. Titon see's the trills that Manon employs in the tune as vestiges of Scottish playing from his ancestors.

Source for notated version: Manon Campbell (Hallie, Letcher County, southeast Ky., 1977) [Titon].

Printed sources: Titon (Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 114, p. 142.

Recorded sources: BG-CD1, Bruce Greene - "Five Miles of Ellum Wood" (1996).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear the tune played on youtube.com [2]
Hear Bruce Greene's 1977 field recording of Manon Campbell playing the tune at Slippery Hill [3]




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