You'd think Friday wouldn't sneak up on me...but it does. *sigh*
12.05.2008
Time for a Fun Fact, peeps!



Today's topic: Christmas carols!

Says Wikipedia - The tradition of Christmas carols hails back as far as the thirteenth century, although carols were originally communal songs sung during celebrations like harvest tide as well as Christmas. It was only later that carols began to be sung in church, and to be specifically associated with Christmas.



Carols suffered a decline in popularity after the Reformation in the countries where Protestant churches gained prominence (although well-known Reformers like Martin Luther authored carols and encouraged their use in worship), but survived in rural communities until the revival of interest in carols in the 19th century. The first appearance in print of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", "The First Noel", "I Saw Three Ships" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" was in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833) by William B. Sandys. Composers like Arthur Sullivan helped to repopularize the carol, and it is this period that gave rise to such favorites as "Good King Wenceslas" and "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear".




It is often difficult to draw a distinction between a Christmas carol and a Christmas song. To be sung by a church choir or sung in the street by amateurs, a song would have to have a fairly rapid, regular beat, which would therefore exclude a meandering crooning song such as "White Christmas". A country music song such as "Blue Christmas" might qualify, but in this case it would have to be adopted by many choirs, over many years to be truly "vernacular", and so far it has failed to gain wide acceptance. The Concise Oxford Dictionary is more generous, as it defines a carol as a "religious song...associated with Christmas".


Yeah, well...I'm not gonna be picky like that. Some of my favorite carols are God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Angels We Have Heard on High, Silver and Gold, All I Want for Christmas is You, and Santa Baby.

Whatever you consider a carol, what are some of your faves, peeps?

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posted by C2 at 6:08 PM | Permalink |


3 Comments:


At 10:24 AM, Blogger Katiebabs a.k.a KB

The reason I love to go to Christmas Eve Midnight mass is because the choir does an amazing rendition of O Holy Night. Whenever I hear that song from either Celine Dion or Josh Groban, I get chills. I can listen to that song over and over and it never gets old.

 

At 12:50 PM, Blogger miish

I don't really know if it's an actual carol, but I really love listening to "The Little Drummer Boy". I just love the music of the song (=

 

At 2:32 PM, Blogger C2

Excellent choices of carols, ladies!

KB - I like Jewel's version of O Holy Night. Very simple but lovely.

Miish - Have you seen the animated (like from the 70s) version of The Little Drummer Boy? I love it!