The Rolling OldTime Band - Breaking up Christmas

from by Various Artists

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Breaking Up Christmas is the name of an Appalachian tradition whereby a community would take turns clearing out the furniture from their homes and hosting dance parties during the Twelve Days of Christmas. This is the tune that emerged as the theme song of the gatherings. It was saved for the last dance on Christmas day; the accompanying dance step described as "something between the Virginia Reel and a minuet." The tune was first played about 100 years ago in the region of Surry County, North Carolina, and Galax, Virginia. It was possibly composed by a civil war veteran, Preston 'Pet' McKinney. These days, versions of Breaking Up Christmas can be found on YouTube, played by such fiddlers as Tommy Jarrell and Bruce Molsky.


Hooray Jake, hooray John
Breakin’ up Christmas all night long
Santa Claus come, done and gone
Breaking up Christmas right straight along
Don’t you remember a long time ago
The old folks danced the doesey-doe


from A Bluer State of Christmas, released December 10, 2018
Written by: Preston ‘Pet’ McKinney


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Hoover Dam Collective New York

The Hoover Dam Collective is a group of young artists based in Brooklyn, NY, who are particularly interested in making work that crosses the boundaries of traditional art disciplines. The Collective was founded in 2009 at SUNY Purchase College. The HDC produces performances in and around New York City, which feature collaboration between music, dance, film, theater, comedy, and visual art. ... more

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