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Sheet Music Adds
To Halloween Collection

Halloween Sheet Music
“Punky Punkin, the Happy Punkin,” was a novelty song in the 1940s.

Halloween collections can take many forms. Complementary to any of these collections is the fun sheet music that has been printed through the years. The songs are probably not too great, but the covers are.

A few Disney characters go riding on a broom behind a witch on “Trick or Treat for Halloween.” A pretty woman holds a jack-o-lantern on the cover of “Hallowe’en (Jack O’Lantern Rag)” from the early 20th century. A happy jack-o-lantern sits in a window in “Punky Punkin” from the 1940s.

These and many more are pictured in Collectible Halloween, by Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell (Schiffer Publishing, 1997.)

If you collect Hallo­ween items, be sure and check out that next pile of sheet music you see.

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Leggings Unlikely Candidate For
First Christmas Stocking

One legend states that as far back as the 4th century, the Bishop of Myra took pity on two penniless young ladies and secretly dropped a bag of gold down their chimney on Christmas Eve. It fell into a stocking that had been hung near the fire to dry.

It is a lovely little story, but does not carry any weight historically since stockings with feet were not invented until 700 years later! Prior to that, stockings were leg wrappings only. During this period, in England, the well-dressed lay person wore leather stockings (they were called leg guards) and the monks cut strips of fabric and sewed them to fit the leg.

Possibly the Christmas stocking appeared in England between the 11th and 14th centuries, when the knights and merchants were discovering southern Europe during the Crusades. It was possibly derived from the Spanish custom of setting out shoes filled with straw for the camels of the three kings of the Orient, who were said to pass through Spain on Christmas Eve on their annual trek to Bethlehem.

The first silk stockings in Europe were knitted for a lady-in-waiting as a Christmas gift for Queen Elizabeth I of England. They caught on quickly and by the late 1500s, ladies and gentlemen of the nobility wore stocking only of silk. In cold weather, they wore several pairs at once.

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Silver Standard Adopted In 1343

In the 13th century, a group of German silversmiths immigrated to England. There, they gave themselves the name “Easterlings,” because their homeland lay to the east.

About 1300, the king, John, ordered these craftsmen to refine the silver in the royal treasury and make it into coins. In 1343, an official decree dropped the first two letters from “Easterling” and initiated “sterling” as the term used to identify silver of the same standard as that made for the king (925 parts of silver to 1,000 parts of total metal.)

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