Old-Time Christmas Carols Teach About The Past
Students at Folk School learn to sing non-traditional Christmas carols.
Songs of the season took on a distinctly British lilt at Folk School of St. Louis this month as a small class learned Christmas carols with Anglo, Appalachian and Celtic roots.
Judy Stein, artistic director of Folk School, taught the class using old-time songs she found from friends, books and records. She said the old carols were appealing because they're rarer than the holiday songs available on the radio.
"It's kind of an insight into the minds of people who lived," she said. "I like to find something unique about each one that draws your attention so you're doing more than mouthing words."
"You find this sort of superstitious thinking in folk song much longer than you do in standard, church-approved carols," she said.
Patty Clay of St. Louis took the class with her sister Lois Clay Quest of Webster Groves.
"This was my Christmas present from her," Clay said. "I really like the carols that tell a story."
Quest said she wanted to take the class because she enjoyed one of Stein's other classes.
If you're interested in singing ballads about events in history, Stein will be offering a class next month. Check out Folk School of St. Louis for more information.