Friday, December 10, 2010

Diversity in Christmas Carols-- Kate Rusby

Last night,  my daughter and I went to Kate Rusby's Christmas concert at the Sage, Gateshead.
It was a joyous occasion and Rusby's voice rang out.
Although we got her Sweet Bells Christmas album when it first came out in 2008, I hadn't really appreciated where her songs came from. Apparently in South Yorkshire there remains a tradition of carol singing or wassailing in pubs. The words might be familiar but the tunes aren't.  Personally I preferred some of Kate's tunes.
Sweet Bells (While Shepherds Watched their Flocks) is a song that gets in your head in a good way. It is now officially my youngest son's favourite carol ever.
The other joy of joys was that Kate has a new album out. As she explained, she should have had one out in Sept 09, but had baby instead. Her new husband is an accomplished musician and joined her on stage. The first song she sang from the album --Walk the Road had my daughter mouthing at me that this was a perfect song for my heroine. I agreed. Anyway, the songs she sang sound like vintage Kate, even though she has changed her musicians a bit (see above).
Kate did explain that her carols do mention Jesus but not Rudolph. Apparently at an earlier concert, someone had complained. As she explained -- she rather thought that Jesus in the manger was the whole point of Christmas and she made no apologies for singing traditional carols.
When she was on Songs of Praise, someone objected to the fact that she dared to show her knees on the show. Emailing in capital letters to complain. Otherwise, apparently people liked. She pointed out that last night her knees were covered.
So in case you haven't heard Sweet Bells --

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