About Christmas Trees. Other Christmas Resources. By now, of course, many people equate Appalachian music with Bluegrass, or the Carter family. But thanks to the efforts of "song collectors" like Alan Lomax and John Jacob Niles, we have a record of many tunes and traditions that preceded those relatively modern forms.
Niles loved folk music so much that he spent decades between and traveling the back roads and sitting on the back porches of Appalachia collecting folk songs of all kinds. Annie's family of intinerant evangelists was about to be run out of town for being a public nuisance.
Annie sang three lines of this tune, and Niles was so enchanted by the haunting melody that he paid her about two dollars to get her to sing it over and over again until he was sure he had written down all she knew. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to consider a real song. But later Niles reworked the bits of tune into something that resembled a melody and added enough words to make it singable. For Niles' own description of the experience, click here.
Since the song began receiving public attention, it has been recorded by all sorts of musicians and has even found its way to "respectable" hymnals. To people accustomed to classical and "popular" music, this song seems to end on the "wrong note. But this tune comes from a tradition that dates back to medieval times, when key signatures and time signatures were still evolving, and the "rules" of modern harmony had yet to be written.
To those who claim that such tunes end on the "wrong note," John Jacob Niles would tell you what his father told him, that the good thing about Applachian tunes is that "the song ends when it's over" whether it's on the "right" note or not. Barbra Streisand on the album A Christmas Album. Luciano Berio set it for soprano and ensemble as part of his Folk Songs in the song cycle was composed for, and recorded by, Cathy Berberian.
Vanessa Williams recorded a version in her Christmas album Star Bright. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. The Penguin Book of Carols. Penguin , p University Press of Kentucky , p— The Christmas Carol Reader.
Haworth Press , p Researching the Song: A Lexicon. I wonder as I wander out under the sky. When Mary birthed Jesus, t'was in a cow's stall With wisemen and farmers and shepherds and all, But high in God's heaven a star's light did fall, And the promise of ages, it then did recall. If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing A star in the sky or a bird on the wing Or all of God's angels in heaven for to sing He surely could have it, for he was the king!
I wonder as I wander out under the sky How Jesus, the Savior, had come for to die For poor on'ry people like you and like I. I wonder what you people do with your lives Once more this will be forever I can't withhold secrets I know I'm going where the sun always shines I know my son we've made it It can't escape my mind I know my star is a brighter star.
Special FX - Babbletron - Mechanical Royalty (CDr, Album), Now I Have Everything - Bill & Gloria Gaither With Their Homecoming Friends - Joy In My Heart (CD, A, Woody Guthrie - Woody Guthrie Sings (Vinyl), Cold Cut - Typhoid (3) - Disfigured By Blind Faith (CD, Album), DJ Bamba* - Heyko EP (Vinyl), What Do You See In Her? - Various - Feber - Lennart Persson: Stax Soul (CD, Album), Wabash Cannonball - Townes Van Zandt - Live At McCabes (CD, Album), Kruszy Się Niebo Nad Głową I Spada - Andymian - Ładna Dla Nieba, Wrednia Dla Piekła (CD, Album), Let It Take You There - Somewhere Off Jazz Street - Learning To Forget (File, Album), Half Ladies - Christine And The Queens - Chaleur Humaine (CD, Album), Dead Ringer For Love - Meat Loaf - Dead Ringer (CD, Album), Duet: Sulla Tomba Che Rinserra - Callas*, The Philharmonia Orchestra* And Chorus*, Tullio Serafin - Robo Grigorov - Chodci Sveta (CD)