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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


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Jane Mitchell

I have lived in Greensboro for many years, but have never heard of "breaking up Christmas." Is it just known among the fiddlers or is it practiced generally? JTM

greensboro daily photo

"Breaking up Christmas," is just known among the fiddlers/old-time music community.

David Thompson

Paul Brown (NPR commentator & fine old-time musician) put together a CD several years ago that told the story of the "Breaking Up Christmas" tradition. I think it was called "A Blue Ridge Holiday." The parties apparently moved from house to house over a two week period.

On iTunes you can search for the fiddle tune "Breaking Up Christmas." The Camp Creek Boys' version is a classic.

Tommy Jarrell (1901-1985) sings on the Fred Cockerham, Oscar Jenkins and Tommy Jarrell version in iTunes. Tommy claimed to have authored the second and third verses. The third is

"Santa Claus come, done and gone,
Breaking up Christmas right along."

Yo-Yo Ma

Looks like green grass clogger feet.


They are indeed Green Grass Clogger feet. Two of the earliest members photographed at a music retreat. Thanks for noticing.


Wow-love the photo! One of my readers sent me this link. Even though I'm from Western NC-I had never heard of Breaking Up Christmas until about 2 years ago. I wrote about it here if you're interested: http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2008/12/johnny-b-good-breaking-up-christmas.html

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