Folk songs bring holiday spirit into the community


Taisiia Yakovenko

Adam Miller playing traditional Irish songs in the Belmont Library during his last concert.

Taisiia Yakovenko, Staff Writer

As the holiday season reaches its peak, songs such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Jingle Bells” can be heard almost everywhere. However, tunes that are popular today are nothing like the traditional Christmas carols.

In an attempt to bring the holiday spirit into the community, Belmont Library hosted “Folksongs of Winter Holidays with Adam Miller” on Dec. 9.

“I play old Christmas songs from English folk tradition,” said Adam Miller, a musician and a singer. “These songs are not about the Santa Claus or the Reindeer, they are much more unique than that.”

Miller’s musical program depicts the traditions of the authentic Christmas making his audience experience that childlike excitement of the winter holiday.

“I am not here to perform the commercialized Christmas songs such as ‘Frosty the Snowman’. I want to popularize the real Christmas songs,” Miller said. “I perform those songs that families sang to each other during the holidays. I want the people to hear my songs from their childhood and remember that magical feeling of Christmas.”

In his performance, Miller wanted to put emphasis on various holiday traditions and their development.

“I find it interesting how people from different parts of the world have different traditions for seemingly the same holiday,” Miller said. “I travel around the U.S. a lot and I noticed that people in South Carolina have traditions that Californians have never heard about and vice versa.”

Through his songs, Miller tells tales of Christmas around the country and around the globe, which allows the audience to fully emerge themselves in the spirit of the holiday and its diversity.

“I really love how [Miller] tells his stories,” said Joan Peceimer, a Belmont resident. “He combines music with humor and history creating a wonderful performance that could not be seen anywhere else.”

The holiday program was meant to unite the community and bind people together with the unique experience of holiday joy.

“I think that this is a wonderful show. It is very interesting and engaging for the audience,” said Steve Lagna, San Jose resident. “This performance is very unique because people learn new facts about old traditions in such an informal matter. It really is an experience that can not be recreated anywhere else.”