Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Christ Was Born in Bethlehem" -- an Easter song miraculously restored to the playlist for Clayville ... shall this be a sign unto us?

Editor's Note. Where to begin? I wanted to play this song for Easter, but I couldn't work out dulcimer tab. So I gave up and went on to something else. Then, at the last minute, I found tab for it on Shelley Stevens' mountain dulcimer site. I decided that was a pretty good coincidence, so good it might qualify as a sign or a vision. Especially because there's a messenger angel in the song -- a southern Appalachian sacred ballad called "Christ Was Born in Bethlehem." The upshot: We've got three lead sheets with dulcimer tab for tomorrow's Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music session at Clayville Historic Site.

We've also got a slightly different place -- we'll meet in the Broadwell Inn building across the teardrop drive from the barn where we usually meet. Coming up in the next week:

  • From 10 a.m. till noon Saturday, April 2, Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music, in Broadwell Inn at Clayville Historic Stagecoach Stop, Ill. 125, Pleasant Plains.
  • From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, Clayville-Prairieland Strings, at Peace Lutheran Church (formerly Atonement), 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield.

Here's the song, as performed by Norm Williams, Amanda Parker and Bob Mallalieu -- and a butterfly -- Aug. 29, 2010, at the Maidencreek Old Time Music Festival in Blandon, Pa. Says John Hilderbrand, who put it up on his YouTube channel, "Watch the butterfly and listen to the performers during this clip. It's inspirational and funny!" Please note: No butterflies were harmed in this performance.

Lead sheets with duclimer tab are available at I found it Thursday night when I was trying to download "Plan B" tab for Saturday's jam session -- "Belle of Belfast City" (and "Jamaica Farewell"). At first I couldn't get into Stevens' website and I hit the panic button. Then, I got this message:

THANKS FOR VISITING MY NEW WEBSITE. March! The weather is improving and we may have survived another winter. I was going to use this months song in December as a Christmas song but after reading the lyrics decided that it was more appropriate for Easter. I hope you enjoy this arrangement of "Christ was Born in Bethlehem" GET TAB

Apparently the website was down for maintenance.

All of Stevens' tab is available there again, at any rate. Look in the Tab Archives 2005-2010 and 2010-2016 directories. Here are links to the background I posted earlier on both songs:

Since I updated twice, I've just indicated edits with strike-throughs and underlines. It probably reflects my state of advancing confusion at the time, but if you ignore the parts I've stricken out you probably won't get confused.

No comments: