The Cherry Tree Carol – Appalachian Songbook Series

Back to Gallery


The Cherry Tree Carol – Appalachian Songbook Series

27″W X 33″H
Hemp – hand dyed, screen printed and embroidered

The Cherry Tree Carol  is a ballad that can be found in a British song book in Britain from the 17th century but was known to have been sung at the feast of Corpus Christi in the early 15th century. Unusual for  mountain folk tunes, the story here is religious, telling of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem for the census. In the most popular version,  the two stop in a cherry orchard and Mary asks Joseph to pick some cherries for her.  Joseph refuses, saying “let the child’s father serve you”. From the womb, Jesus commands the cherry tree to bend down to Mary.  Joseph, seeing the miracle, is remorseful.  In modern times, The Cherry Tree Carol has been recorded by Jean Ritchie, Judy Collins, Joan Baez and many others.

detail of The Cherry Tree Carol

Detail image