"The Holly and the Ivy" were part of European winter solstice traditions long before the birth of Christ, but the attributes of the holly were adapted for Christian symbols. "The Cherry Tree Carol" is Appalachian at its soulful best. It came from an English carol, the only one you'll hear that lets Joseph tell Mary to "Let the father of the baby gather cherries for thee!" after she tells him she is with child. "Good King Wenceslas" is a true story of an early Bohemian king who was known for his kindness to the poor. These three tracks are now available for free downloads.
Terry Tucker and Ardyth Gilbertson's arrangements of twelve mostly European carols on this "Ancient Ayres & Carols for Christmas" CD are not your usual mix of sweet strings and angelic singing.Tambourines, drums and recorder, organ and chimes fit the medieval feel of these carols. Piano, keyboards and more percussion bring variety and depth. Terry and Ardyth sing and harmonize with passion and soul.
“Green Grow’th the Holly”, written by King Henry VIII of England celebrates the changing seasons. "Fum, Fum, Fum" from Spain is fun and lighthearted; Terry adds her autoharp to this carol. "Hodie" is a Gregorian-style chant from Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols". Other carols are traditional: "Masters in This Hall", "The Coventry Carol", "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" and more.
Reviews from people who have bought this CD:
"I listened to every song. What a refreshing change from what comes out of the ceiling at malls! The Cherry Tree Carol brought tears to my eyes. And the histories of the songs were really interesting. I realized that I’d been listening to some of these songs for years but noticing only now what the words meant." Lex Larson
What a wonderful change! Really neat ancient carols, without the same old repeats found on most other Christmas albums. Great harmonies; beautiful blending of voice and instrument. Just set the CD player on "repeat" and let 'er rip. John Burns
Here it is, weeks after Christmas, and I'm still playing this CD and humming or singing along with it. It's somehow both soothing and invigorating, with a Celtic feel. My absolute favorite songs are "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Green Grow'th the Holly," but unlike most of the CDs I have, I enjoy every single song. Anne Eden
I've listened to this album many times. it's great! totally unlike the typical Christmas album of standards we've all heard countless times. wonderful harmonies, lovely carols. bernard demartini
"I'm listening to your CD here in the shop, I got it from you last year at one of your shows. I LOVE IT! ...and I'd really love to offer it for sale here in my store. I love the mix of music on it, totally captures the diversity of the season!! THANKS! Lillian, The Local Source, 133 & 1/2 W. German Street, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, 304-876-1380
Ancient Ayres & Carols for Christmas is one of my all-time favorite Christmas CDs,right up there with Bing's. Bing Crosby, that is! Cheryl Mansley
Ancient Ayres & Carols for Christmas by Terry Tucker and Ardyth Gilbertson provides the listener with a moment of peace, beauty, and joy in the midst of a chaotic world. Betty Jo Rockwell
Cool old carols! I was pleasantly charmed on my way to work this Christmas season by the yuletide songs of Terry Tucker and Ardyth. There are some traditional carols but mostly old English Christmas melodies. Recommended to put some definite cheer into the holiday season! Hyder "Ray" Raza
I found myself literally just listening to this one CD over and over again throughout the season. It's sweet; it's simple; has a way of just easing the spirit. I especially loved the Hodie. Charlotte Baker-Shenk