Sunday, December 5, 2010

Auntie Knickers’ Advent Storytime: Day 5

memlargexmas Tonight there’s something a little different – it’s a memoir, or part of one. Lillian Smith, the author of such classics of civil rights literature as Strange Fruit and Killers of the Dream, wrote this memoir of her childhood Christmases that goes a long way to explain how this Southern white woman became a crusader for the civil rights of all people.

A good song to go with it is Almost Day, the Seeger family’s version of Leadbelly’s song On a Christmas Day.

The song is associated with Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) and some say he wrote it. Ledbetter may or may not have worked on a chain gang like the Christmas guests in our story, but he definitely served time in Southern prisons. Afterwards, he made part of his living entertaining at children’s parties until he was discovered by folklorists John and Alan Lomax.

If you’d like something a little more antique, try this story that I recorded in 2006, the chapter “The Festival of St. Nicholas” fromhans brinker Mary Mapes Dodge’s Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates. At the time, the only Dutch carol I could find was King Jesus Hath a Garden, sung by the Clare College Choir. Here’s another version by the Wells Cathedral Choir, in an arrangement by John Rutter.

Individual Files for Mac Users:

Introduction Dec 5 2010 Surprise Memory of a Large Christmas

Introduction Dec 5 2006 Surprise The Festival of St. Nicholas

Self-Extracting Zip Files for the Rest of Us

December 5 2010 December 5 2006


Terri said...

Oh, wow...leadbelly brings back memories of a college boyfriend who loved that musician and others like him...and I loved, for a time, that boyfriend.

Diane said...

so glad you are doing the Christmas stories again! What a great idea!