John Speller's Web Pages The Cherry Tree Carol (Somersetshire Version)

John Speller's Web Pages - Somerset Carols
The Cherry Tree Carol (Somersetshire Version)
The second part of the Cherry Tree Carol as sung in Somerset.

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"A Village Choir" by Thomas Webster (1800-1886), shown at the Royal Academy in 1847. The original is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and there is a copy at St Petrock's Church, Parracombe, Devon. The painting was intended to be illustrative of "Christmas Day" in Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1820): "The orchestra was in a small gallery, and presented a most whimsical grouping of heads piled one above the other, among which I particularly noticed that of the village tailor, a pale fellow with a retreating forehead and chin, who played on the clarinet, and seemed to have blown his face to a point; and there was another, a short pursy man, stooping and laboring at a bass-viol, so as to show nothing but the top of a round bald head, like the egg of an ostrich. There were two or three pretty faces among the female singers, to which the keen air of a frosty morning had given a bright rosy tint; but the gentlemen choristers had evidently been chosen, like old Cremona fiddles, more for tone than looks; and as several had to sing from the same book, there were clusterings of odd physiognomies not unlike those groups of cherubs we sometimes see on country tombstones."
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