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The Cherry-Tree Carol

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Dominic Schweingruber

on 14 August 2017

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Transcript of The Cherry-Tree Carol

The Cherry-Tree Carol
Virgin Mary
Baby Jesus

Joseph and Mary in Cherry Orchard
Mary asks Joseph to pick cherries
Joseph is unhappy
Tells her to ask the child's father
Jesus speaks from the womb
Commands tree to bend down and allow Mary to pick cherries
Joseph happy again
Jesus speaks to Mary
Tells her of his death and resurrection

54A is shortest version
Other versions include an angel
Known as the 'Cherry Tree Carol' or 'Joseph was and old man'
Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
'The Book About the Origin of the Blessed Mary and the Childhood of the Savior'
Written between 600~625 AD
Gospel covering the birth and childhood of Jesus
Issues between Joseph and Mary surrounding the pregnancy
Child Ballad 54A
4 known versions by Child
Early 15th Century
Feast of Corpus Christi
Coventry Plays
Christmas Carol
New popularity in 1970's
Joan Baez
Shirley Collins
Jean Ritchie
Judy Collins
Peter, Paul and Mary
Clancy Brothers
Many variations in structure and story
Mary and Joseph traveling through Egypt
Take shelter under a tree
Mary asks Joseph for fruit from the tree
Jesus sits on his mother's lap
Asks tree to bend down for his mother

Variation in the tree/fruit
Oral vs Written Tradition
Early version pre-1800's exist
Mostly oral tradition then
Transitioned to recorded in the 1960's / 70's
Increased popularity and revival of old songs

Well known carol which is still sung in parts of England
1820's and 40's collections include 'The Cherry-Tree Carol'
'The Cherry-Tree Carol' is a combination of 3 ballads
Joseph Was An Old Man
As Joseph Was A Walking
Mary's Question
Full transcript