Shepherds Arise


Jon says, “This is maybe my favourite ‘folk carol’. I first learnt this from Coope, Boyes and Simpson so that myself, John Spiers and Benji Kirkpatrick could perform it at a private architects’ office party.” That sounds like a cue for a Monty Python sketch, but here we are on the eve of Christmas. Hopefully you’re all set for a good day, shopping done, food preparations started, an early finish, perhaps a tipple of something tasty on the way home, presents wrapped, a warm glow on the home front and so on. What can go wrong?

You can buy the December digital album now from all good download stores.


40 Responses to “Shepherds Arise”

  1. Muzza says:

    I liked this one…………..can you spare a few Coppers guv.

  2. Jerry Simon says:

    Definitely my favourite carol, first heard when I was 15, sung by Peter Bellamy, Royston Wood and Heather Wood in The Half Moon, Yeovil. Nicely done by Jon and the gang.

  3. Jane Ramsden says:

    Shepherd’s Arise? This Rams-den will have to go to bed first! I get worse – hahaha!

    Well, not bad, but I’d never describe this or any similar-sounding type of song as a favourite. Having said that, redemption looms in that Jon learnt it from Coope, Boyes and Simpson, with that bit of Bratfud Swan Arcader heritage in there! Still rather have that gem posted under some earlier AFSAD song, ‘Babylon Is Fallen’. Always worth a repeat performance with Bellamy-style nasal twang!

  4. John Monk says:

    …What Can Go Wrong? That comment made me chuckle! Joyeux Fetes. And a very merry Christmas to one and All!

  5. Joe Offer says:

    We haven’t had a whole lot of coverage of Jon’s December songs at Mudcat, but I think I’ve been able to find at least something about almost every one of them. We have a very nice thread on this song:

    Merry Christmas!

    -Joe Offer, The Mudcat Cafe-

  6. Shelley says:

    Stunning, and joyously sung. This one has been earworming me all week as I’ve heard various groups sing it. Great choice for Christmas Eve (I’m off to sing choral arrangements of such delights as “Frosty the Snowman” at the Bridgewater Hall later – not in the same league somehow)

  7. Peter Little says:

    A great song for Christmas Eve, I’m sure The Copper Family would be pleased to hear this version.

  8. […] Hear Jon Boden and friends do a great a capella job of this traditional folk carol here. […]

  9. John Bryson says:

    A lovely version, splendid rendition

  10. Jane Ramsden says:

    Nearly 2am, and my habits haven’t changed a lot since last year’s posting!

    Ref my mention of Swan Arcade’s version of ‘Babylon Is Fallen’ above, thank you to the stalwart woman on here (sorry, can’t remember which stalwart woman now!) who pointed me in the direction of Strawhead’s English Civil War Songs CD that I bought for a friend’s Christmas present. It arrived new, but unsealed, so I was able to have a sneak preview. It has a different, but extremely good, version of ‘Babylon Is Fallen.’ And I’ve still got my (signed) copy of John Tams/Home Service live CD version (as recommended by Reinhard for ‘Rose of Allendale’) to go at when I’ve a spare mo – yeh!

  11. Jane Ramsden says:

    And now for something (else) completely different…

    For those that don’t know the extraordinary talent that was Laura Nyro, here’s a link to ‘Christmas in my Soul’ from her album ‘Christmas and the Beads of Sweat’:

    ‘Christmas in my Soul’ lyrics:

    Come young braves
    Come young children
    Come to the book of love with me
    Respect your brothers and your sisters
    Come to the book of love
    I know it ain’t easy
    But we’re gonna look for a better day
    Come young braves
    Come young children.

    I love my country as it dies
    In war and pain before my eyes
    I walk the streets where disrespect has been
    The sins of politics, the politics of sin
    The heartlessness that darkens my soul
    On Christmas.

    Red and silver on the leaves
    Fallen white snow runs softly through the trees
    Madonnas weep for wars of hell
    They blow out the candles and haunt Noel
    The missing love that rings through the world
    On Christmas.

    Black panther brothers bound in jail
    Chicago seven and the justice scale
    Homeless Indian of Manhattan Isle
    All God’s sons have gone to trial
    And all God’s love is out of style
    On Christmas.

    Now the time has come to fight
    laws in the book of love burn bright
    people you must win for thee America
    her dignity
    for all the high court world to see
    on Christmas

    Christmas in my soul
    Christmas in my soul
    Christmas in my soul.

    Come young braves
    Come young children

    Christmas in my soul
    in my soul
    to this world.

  12. Jane Ramsden says:

    But for my money, you can’t beat every gem of a song on her album ‘Eli & The Thirteenth Confession,’ especially ‘December’s Boudoir:’


    Kisses from you in the flames of December’s boudoir,
    They fill me like melons,
    Touch me with chivalry;
    Truly I know, truly I know who you are,
    December will bear our affair,
    Running on streets of delight and Decemberry ice,
    They’ll see me; I’m ageless,
    Loving you timelessly,
    Love-colored soul, love-colored soul kissing spice,
    Yes, my love, I take my coffee in the morning,
    And all your love,
    A spoonful or so make us grow,
    Mama was clever, my mama was clever,
    And my daddy loved her forever;
    Kisses from you I’ll remember,
    Kisses from you in the flames of December,
    Kisses from you, true they are,
    Kisses from you in the flames of December’s boudoir;
    Oh, mainstream marzipan sweet,
    Baking out in December heat.

  13. Jane Ramsden says:

    Okay, I strayed a bit. (What’s new?) It’s not exactly folk. So shoot me later…

  14. Peter Walsh says:

    Wow! Unleash the Ramsden, hahahaha! Thanks for all that Janie – now get some sleep!

    Fantastic performance again, Jon. Perfect for Christmas Eve. I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all AFSADders now, just in case I’m incapable tomorrow. My neighbour mixes a special secret drink for me every Christmas morning; dunno wots in there but it’s potent!

  15. Diana says:

    Liked this one but again it was a completely new carol to me. Very harmonious though.

    Pewter do take care with your neighbours secret brew – we don’t want you seeing camels or pink elephants and having to miss the festivities.

  16. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Probably the favourite carol in our group too. It was “well sung” at The Crown last night !

    A Very Happy Christmas to all the team behind A.F.S.A.D., and to all the faitfull fallowers who rite in eech daye whith there opynions.
    (It really was a VERY good night at The Crown last night !)

  17. […] this; it’s also worth mentioning that Jon Boden and friends did rather a fine job on it on AFSAD. But really, the only thing you can do wrong with a song like this is not to sing […]

  18. Phil says:

    This is timely – I’ve just released my version at 52fs, featuring five voices (all mine!).

    Shepherds Arise

    Merry Christmas – and sing, sing all earth!

  19. Diana says:

    Ah John B fancy catching the mis-spelling bug at this time of the year but Nadolig Llawen to you. I do not speak Welsh but one of my ancestors was a Henry Morgan but I don’t think he was the infamous buccaneer but who knows?

  20. Linda says:

    Early christmas treat this morning BBC 4 Folk at Christmas . Nice to have a repeat thats worth watching. Diana presents still safe. Baking done , food sorted time to get into the christmas spirit cheers everybody.

  21. Diana says:

    May just be in time to wish you and Colin all the best.

  22. muzza (N.W Surrey+fringe) says:

    @Phil……..Cor Blimey Phil………very impressedwith your techie skills but stay away from the photocopier or you will end up a chorus of thousands as backing singers!
    @Jane…..CorBlimey Jane……your Laura Nyro……definitely from your dark side…I’m sure she writes her lyrics by collecting up the cast off papers from a game of consequences……….goes way above my head! OMG..unleash the Ramsden!

  23. Phil says:

    unleash the Ramsden

    “Don’t tell me that it doesn’t hurt!”

    Sorry, not very seasonal.

  24. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Phil: It’s less the unleashing that hurts than the penning in! Although I can see the recipients of ‘unleashed Ramsden’ might have the opposite view! Hahahaha!

    @ Muzza: Laura Nyro is less from my dark side than my deep, womanly side… well, from when I had depths (other than despair, the pits and the Slough of D, of course!) Come to think of it, that was from when I was a woman as well. Now I am just the cats’ mother; nay, their servant!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  25. muzza (N.W Surrey) says:

    @Jane…… the red Cardinal…….you look the Cat’s Whiskers

  26. Diana says:

    Still nice to hear.

  27. Vivien says:

    I’m enjoying AFSAD for the third time and have loved December’s songs, carols and hymns more than ever.
    Thank you Jon, Fay, Simon and all contributers. Happy Christmas to you all.

  28. Linda says:

    Started the christmas run up with a trip to Bury Met to see Belshazzar’s Feast ,followed by a trip to Buxton to see Maddy Prior and the Carnival band all rounded of with a night at The Globe listening to Kerfuffle brill. Hoping everybody has a good christmas and happy new year.
    To Fay and Jon Thank you for a super year and looking forward to 2013.

  29. Jan says:

    Will be singing this, among other things, with the Greenwood Quire on Plough Sunday in Aslackby Church, followed by lunch and dancing.

  30. Muzza+41days (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Jan….where the heck is Aslackby Church?…anywhere near Dotheboys Hall?..I’ll get me old bike out if it’s in Surrey…….looking forward to seeing the vid on Youtube.

  31. Jane Ramsden says:

    Aslackby – Azelby to the locals – sounds idyllic… well, it will when Jan gets there!

  32. Muzza+418days (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Jane……that’s my girl……….I knew that you could be lured back down the mountain by the promise of red meat or an old duffer having a senior moment……
    Yes….Jan should liven up that lovely old place….a bit far for me to go on the old bike though.

  33. Jan says:

    ‘Fraid I can’t sing and film at the same time, and it is a church service, but I will try and film some of the dancing afterwards. We do have a CD of our last performance, Shepherds
    Arise, which gives an account in speech and song of farming in the 1900s.

  34. rsjmum says:

    so lovely to hear my all time favourite carol. thank you

  35. Linda says:

    Another super year of folk … lots of concerts .Met old friends (Muzza) and made some new friends … Merry Christmas to all…..

  36. Old Muzza(NW Surrey.UK says:

    Aslackby (Azelbee) Lincs………….St. James Church……..never saw the Youtube Jan…hope that you are in fine voice again this year.

  37. Linda says:

    3 Years on Muzza time for a reunion ?

  38. Linda says:

    Nearly there…..where does time go Muzza 4years and still not had that reunion…..raise a glass to absent friends ……..

  39. Linda says:

    7 years since we met up Muzza and still not managed a re union…….Happy Christmas raise a glass to the absent friends…..

  40. OldMuzza(NW SurreyUk) says:

    I’ll second that……
    Glass held high for absent freinds (mis spel especially in memory of Daina!

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