The singularly rich vein of folk music in Spain and Catalonia has survived into modern times far better than its counterpart in the British Isles. Many people in Spain today still know and sing the airs which their forebears sang in centuries past. Within this tradition is a substantial corpus of music dedicated to Christmas celebrations of one sort and another; these songs also reflect the essentially bucolic nature ofthe communities who first developed and sang them.
The lyrics enumerate offerings to the Christ child which include bread, sausage, nuts, olives, sweetmeats and all kinds of rural produce; the celebrants offer to perform their local dances, dress in colourful costumes, bring their animals to join the worship, and so forth. Naturally, the theme ofthe shepherds at the Nativity features prominently, and of course the biblical travails of Joseph, Mary and their infant son must have struck a familiar chord in the minds of a peasant community. The rugged geography ofthe Iberian peninsula has also contributed to regional traditions being maintained well into modern limes.