John Speller's Web Pages Cherry Tree Carol (Appalachia Version 2)

John Speller's Web Pages - North American Christmas Carols
Cherry Tree Carol (Appalachia Version 2)
An English carol imported to Southern Appalacia and collected by Cecil Sharp from Mrs. Jane Gentry of Hot Springs, North Carolina on 24 August 1916. This version of the Cherry Tree Carol is curious in a number of ways. "Instead of "Joseph was an old man," it somewhat perversely has "Joseph was a young man." Furthermore the birthday of Christ is given in the eighth stanza as January 5th. I wonder if this represents some folk memory of Old Christmas Day, as was celebrated in North America before 1752. However the proper date of Old Christmas Day would be January 7th.

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Jane Hicks Gentry, Mrs. Jasper Newton Gentry (1863-1925) of Hot Springs, North Carolina and pooch
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