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Winter Fair

from Midwinter Revels by GreenMatthews

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Our first gig in 2020 was at The Fleece in Bretforton for their annual wassail. The Fleece is a gorgeous 14th-century pub in a quiet Worcestershire village that backs onto an orchard and every January a huge crowd of visitors descend to help the landlord coax the apple trees into producing more apples the following year by pouring cider onto the roots. It’s grown to be a sizeable event with music, dancing, drinking and feasting - the very tonic needed to banish the January blues! Chris wrote this song about our night there and it goes into a tune he also wrote called The New Year’s Jig.

lyrics

The warmth of summer is long since fled
And Jack of the Green lies sleeping
Beneath the earth he’s laid his head
And soundly slumbers there
But though the wintry fingers of
His brother Jack Frost come creeping
Forget your woes and cold red nose
And come to the winter fair

There’s roasted hogs and spicy ale
And perry and cider mulling
There’s songs and stories and tricks and tales
To drive your cares away
There’s friends of old, ones yet untold,
There’s merriment, mirth and fooling
So put off your care, to the winter fair
Make haste upon your way

Of all the twelve December is
The cruellest and least embracing.
Of all the seasons the winter is
The loneliest of the four.
Too often minds to dark incline
When winter’s sadness they’re facing.
The shortened days and absent rays
Make spirits low and poor.

So cast your frets and worries aside
And haste to our merry meeting.
The logs are ablaze by the fireside
There’s vittles and drink prepared.
We’ll feast and wassail, with cakes and ale
And though it be snowing or sleeting
We’ll warm with cheer and fellowship here
As we dance at the winter fair

We wish you good cheer and a Happy New Year
As we dance at the winter fair

credits

from Midwinter Revels, released November 30, 2020
Music and lyrics by Chris Green

Sophie: voice, English border bagpipes

Chris: voice, mandocello, piano accordion

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GreenMatthews Coventry, UK

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, they breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh and relevant for a modern audience. ... more

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