Silly headline

You don’t get sillier that the shock revelation on the BBC Website this morning: Popular carols ‘have folks roots’

Its not exactly a Man Bites Dog news story, is it?

The shocker revelation is that the carol While Shepherd’s Watched was once sung to the tune [Cranbrook] that people know as On Ilkla’ Moor.

Hardly a shocker in these parts where it will be robustly sung to that tune on Christmas Day in St Mary’s.


  1. Zebadee says

    The BBC and certain ‘academics’ are only about three hundred years behind the times. Of course the tune IS still being used today to sing this wonderful carol. We only wish that we could be in St Marys on Christmas Day to sing it with you.

  2. Elizabeth says

    I remember being very confused the first time I heard the carol sung to a tune that wasn’t On Ilkla’ Moor, and thinking that they did things rather oddly on this charming island.

  3. Well, congratulations to them for actually having had the balls to talk to an academic, if not the brains to make much of the story. That’s half a step up from the bulk of modern journalism.

    Form the article: He said carols – many of which have folk roots –

    Actually, *all* carols have to be a mediaeval (round) dance tune, otherwise they’re merely Christmas hymns (cf Away in a Manger only dating from around 1885). Natch.

  4. The Ilkla’ Moor tune has also been sung in the Cathedral of The Isles, in recent years.

  5. of course it has – and in many a place of good taste.

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