Tis the season when small children write letters to Santa Claus, often providing their parents with helpful hints for shopping. Charlottesville author Deborah Prum is no kid, but she likes the tradition of writing to the jolly old man up North and shares this year’s letter with listeners.
When I was growing up, my parents never took down our Christmas tree. It was a synthetic tree from the 1960s, its faded green branches plasticine and matted, imbued with the soot, tobacco, and laughter of the dozens of Christmases it had presided over, making no pretense of being an actual tree. It was bejeweled/smothered with a cacophany of lights- indoor and outdoor, colored and clear, blinking, non-blinking, and chasing. It was frenetic and tacky, more Jackson Pollack than Norman Rockwell, but we wouldn't have changed a thing about it.
This past September, British Folksong Archivist, Amanda Boyd, brought her show highlighting the musical connection between Southwest England and Southwest Virginia here for a special series of programs.
After her performance at the Lincoln Theater in Marion, Virginia, she traveled around the region for two weeks. She retraced the steps of early twentieth century British Folklorist, Cecil Sharp, collected slightly different versions of the same folk songs, from people in Virginia and in Britain.