From the Appalachian mountains came one of today’s most popular Christmas songs, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Originally a French song of indeterminate age and introduced to England before 1770, this carol was sung in the mountains before anywhere else. This was originally a “counting song” of magical or pagan origin, and no one seems to know what it originally meant. However, today it has become the theme of many Christmas cards and displays.
When rosemary and bays, the poet’s crown,
are bawled in frequent cries thoughout the town,
then judge the festival of Christmas near–
Christmas the joyous period of the year.
Now with bright holly all the temples strow,
with laurel green and mistletoe.
John Gay, written in 1713
The mistletoe ball, known as the kissing ball is as old as ancient Rome itself.
Check the “Let’s Burn Something” page for recipes that reflect the origins of the settlers of this area. You may even want to make some.