|12/27/10 - NNHS Newsletter - A 'Soalin'|
“Somehow, not only for Christmas,
John Greenleaf Whittier
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
Today's Newsletter theme was suggested by my cousin, Jean Atkinson Mallory (Rappahannock HS / John Marshall HS - '65) of VA on 12/08/10. Thanks, Jean!
BONUS #1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnbD3QLU5o4 - A 'Soalin' - Peter, Paul and Mary
BONUS #2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO4u-N_VGJY - A 'Soalin' - Peter, Paul and Mary
BONUS #3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07tu3e-otkU - Sole Cake - Sting
|A-Soalin' was a yuletide (Christmas) tradition and dates from long before the
Elizabethan era. It has NOTHING what-so-ever to do with the tradition of
The Elizabethan 'round' reported by "Jacob B" is in fact one of the earliest written examples of the song. It was a chant / round / song sung long before those times. Oral tradition (from a mate in Britain who is really big on this stuff) has it that the tradition of going 'A-Soalin' is probably almost as old as 'Shrove-ball'.
SHROVE-BALL - the tradition of playing "street football" between the two opposing elements of a single town where everybody who was fit and able played - generally teams were called the "Uppies and the Downies" or the "Uppers and Downers", "Upp'ns and Down'ns", "Northers and Southers" and so on. Games were begun at around mid-afternoon and went until sunset and there were no rules - though around the late 1700's and onwards, weapons were somewhat frowned upon. Prior to this time it was not uncommon for a contestant to be stabbed (occasionally fatally) by an opposition player to gain possession of the ball.
The idea was to get the ball to a "goal beyond the territory of the opposition (in the case of Workington in Cumbria; that meant the "Uppies" had to strike the ball against a large capstan on the town wharf while the "Downies" attempted to strike it against the wall of the city park).
Oral traditions have 'Shroveball' being played in Workington since before the arrival of the Vikings in the 10th Century. Shroveball is played - depending on the town involved, is played on either Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day), Easter Saturday, Monday or Tuesday - NEVER, of course on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.
Soalin' was another 'one-day-a-year' tradition and generally occurring around (from recollection) Boxing Day or Christmas Eve - again it depended on the town / parish / county, etc. On this day (evening) the less fortunate of the town would go from door-to-door to ask for comfits from the larders / purses etc of the more fortunate townsfolk. It was considered VERY bad form (even to the extent of being cursed by The Lord) to turn away one who was 'A-Soalin' empty-handed.
The Peter, Paul and Mary version is a more modern rendering of the traditional 'Soalin' song - sort of like the treatment Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Martin Carthy, etc. give to traditional English Folk songs - to "contemporise" them.
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS:
Happy Birthday today to Anita Morgan Becker ('66) of VA!
Happy Birthday this week to:
29 - Roy Tate ('57);
30 - William Gwynn ('57) AND Ron Miller ('59) of NC AND (if Plaxo is to be believed) Carole Althaus Tanenhaus ('65) of MD AND Sarah Stewart Vance ('69) of VA;
31 - Pat Floyd Pride ('62) of VA AND Susie Overton Jones ('63) of VA AND (again, if Plaxo is to be believed) David Rosenwasser ('64) of MO;
01 - Gloria Hand Burns ('57)!
|Many Happy Returns to You All!|
THIS DAY IN WWII:
December 27, 1942 - The German military formed the Smolensk Committee and began enlisting Soviet POWs in the battle against Russia.
THIS DAY IN 1965:
|Monday, December 27, 1965 - Actor Salman Khan (عبد الرشید سلیم سلمان خان) was born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.|
From Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 08/05/10 - "Vote for Grace (REPEATED)":
This is my daughter Laura's dog in a contest to be on the cover of a bag
of dog food.
Vote every day for Grace. Thanks.
Oh, Laura is your daughter, Norris! Well, that makes it all the more important!
Grace was named the September 2010 People's Choice! We only have 5 more days to vote for Grace!
It only takes about two seconds to cast your allotted daily vote)!!!All that is necessary for Dollar to win is that Typhoons do nothing to help Grace!