Orange Peel Morris

The Border Morris dancing side

from the Orangeville area

north-west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Orange Peel Carollers 2015–16 sessions

  1. • Claude Church, Sunday evening November 22, from 7:30 – 9:00 P.M. (tickets at the door, or purchase online at

  2. • Brownestone Pub, Cambridge (Hespeler), Sunday December 13, 3:00 P.M. – 6 P.M.  (arranged with the Mill Race Folk Society; be there early!) 

  3. • Mercer Pub, in the Gibson Centre, Alliston, Thursday December 17, 8:30 P.M.

  4. • Cross Currents Caledon “music cafe” in Bolton, Friday December 18, 8 P.M.

  5. * Mill Creek Pub in Orangeville, Sunday December 20, 3 – 5:00 P.M. (Reservations requested but not required; consider supporting the publican who supports us! (519 307-5700))

  6. • We’ll also be carolling — and mummering! — at the Mill Race Folk Society’s annual Twelfth Night in Cambridge on Saturday January 09, 2016 in the evening.  Tickets available through Mill Race Folk Society

(from the archives:) Orange Peel Carollers 2002:  Boisterous pub carols coming to town

    (from the Orangeville Banner, 2002 December 20:)

Following a time-honoured tradition from the north of England, a group of local friends under the banner of the Orange Peel Carollers will be gathering on Dec. 22, 2002, at Baba Ganoush to sing what are known as Village or Pub Carols. These carols are not the standard Christmas stock we hear piped into every mall; they are often more boisterous and secular in nature than the familiar fare.

They have been preserved in the pub environment in several Yorkshire villages for at least the past 200 years.

In some cases, these carols were frowned upon by the church of the time, and dropped from the order of service. However, though not popular with church officials, the songs remained well-loved by the populace, who kept them alive. They were sometimes retained by only one congregation, village, or family and were held with great pride and even jealousy.

It was a special honour in some villages to be invited to sing them.

Mary Clark, one of the Orange Peel Carol group, who hails originally from Ecclesfield, near Sheffield, recalls her early exposure to the music. “We were really surprised when they allowed my Dad to join the singing; we had only lived there for 15 years!”

These carols have been passed down from singer to singer in the small villages.

Pub carols are regaining popularity in England, there is now a biannual mass sing along at Grenoside (in the Sheffield area) which attracts over 400 singers and musicians.

The Pub caroling tradition was started in Ottawa around 1990 and is proving quite popular there. The song book the group will use for several of the carols is a publication from the Ottawa Folklore Centre, compiled by Shelley Posen, entitled The Canadian Pub Caroller. It combines traditional English carols with some long-forgotten early Canadian hymns and carols.

The Orange Peel Carollers like to think that they are doing their part to maintain the tradition and help it take root in the Orangeville area.

Most of the carols will be unfamiliar to modern ears, but with their folky sound and rousing choruses, some are very easy to learn.

Other songs will be more familiar, but with a twist. For example, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night is a familiar text, written by Nahum Tate in the 18th century. Until about 1820 it was one of a limited few that were approved by the church, so it was set to about 40 different tunes.

The tune Cranbrook, known as the tune to the Yorkshire song On Ilkley Moor Bah’t At, is one of many musical settings borrowed for the text. It provides an exuberant, joyful sound.

If you would like to hear more, or better yet come out and sing along with the group, they invite you to join them at Baba Ganoush on Sunday, Dec. 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. (reservations are recommended for Sunday Brunch).

Immerse yourself in the sounds of days gone by, and help the Orange Peel Carollers start a new tradition.

  1. *- * - * - * - * - *

Mummering Orange Peel style

… for a brief time only, here’s a movie of our Cornish St George and the Dragon mummering play as done in 2013 at Cambridge Mill Race Festival’s Twelfth Night celebrations …


Orange Peel Carollers

For more information, corrections and comments,

please contact the Orange Peel web-master:

or the Orange Peel Squire