Monday, January 03, 2011
It seems it could be a Gaelic melody, rather than an English one, as the writer John Macleod Campbell Crum was the son of a Gaelic speaking wealthy Scottish business family. Crum himself spent his adult life in England as a Church of England clergyman, according to the programme.
The programme, number 11, features a stunningly beautiful acapella Gaelic version of the song, known as Èirigh Bileag Ur Ghorm. You may be able to find it on the BBC iPlayer if you're quick. Failing that Alba's website has another, equally glorious, rendition of the Gaelic version of the song, performed by a band, and you may find it by following this link and selecting the song title.
Parchment's high acid folk version of the song has attracted the interest of collectors in recent years as we recorded some six years ago.
* I have just spotted that an anonymous poster on this site last year suggested the melody was very similar to a French carol. The band always recorded the song as "traditional" as I recall. So did Crum borrow from a French carol - or did a French carol composer borrow from Crum?