Thursday, December 24, 2015

The stories behind Christmas carols-part 2

The Holly and the Ivy
This evergreen carol mixes up both Christian and pagan imagery. In ancient times, during the winter, singing contests were held between men and women in villages around the country. The male contingent would sing carols praising the masculine holly and being rather dismissive of the feminine ivy whilst for the women it was the other way around. There was usually a happy ending though as the two groups would eventually join together under the mistletoe.

Away in a Manger
This is probably one of the first Christmas songs we learn as children. It was first published more than 100 years ago; the words appeared in a Lutheran Sunday School book. It was 10 years after that in 1895 that William J. Kirkpatrick, an American composer and carpenter, wrote the music we all know so well

O Holy Night
‘O Holy Night’ was the second piece of music and very first carol ever to be played on the radio. On Christmas Eve 1906, a Canadian inventor called Reginald Fessenden broadcast the first medium wave radio programme, which included him playing ‘O Holy Night’ on the violin. Composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 the words come from a French poem called 'Midnight, Christians, it is the Solemn Hour.'

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
The carol we now know as "Hark! the herald angels sing" did not start life as such, and required at least four people to bring it to its current form. Wesley's original, written as a Christmas Day hymn and first published in 1739, is made up of ten four-line verses, rather than the longer eight-line verses with refrain which we have now.

And finally how can we forget one of the most famous christmas songs of all times...the jingle bells
Jingle Bells is one of the best-known and commonly sung American Christmas songs in the world. It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh" in the autumn of 1857. Even though it is now associated with the Christmas and holiday season, it was actually originally written for American Thanksgiving.It has been claimed that it was originally written to be sung by a Sunday school choir; however, historians dispute this, stating that it was much too "racy" to be sung by a children's church choir in the days it was written.

Christmas carols always bring out the warm seasonal atmosphere not matter how cold the weather is outside,enjoy singing these carols ,spread smiles and merry christmas,

Monday, December 7, 2015

The stories behind Christmas carols-part 1

The stories behind Christmas carols-part 1

Christmas carol have become an integral part of christmas celebration all around the world.
Have you ever wondered how these carols came about ,here is a brief history of few of the famous carols.

Silent Night
This hugely popular carol came about in 1818 just a few days before Christmas, after an Austrian church mouse munched his way through the bellows of an organ. The organist, Franz Gruber, went to see his priest, Joseph Mohr, to express his concern that there would be no music for Christmas. Equally concerned, Father Joseph wrote a new carol - not requiring an organ - in haste, while Gruber composed the tune. It was played for the first time on guitar at Midnight Mass.

O Come, All Ye Faithful
Another of the most loved of Christmas hymns started out as 'Adeste Fideles', written by John Francis Wade, an Englishman who during the 1700s left England to join a Roman Catholic community in France. He paid his way by teaching music to youngsters and composing and selling pieces of music. It wasn’t until about 100 years later that another Englishman, Fred Oakley gave us the version we know and love today.

The First Noel (First Nowell)
After the first appearance of carols in the Middle Ages the Reformation took hold and the popularity of the seasonal songs took a downward turn. It wasn’t really until the Victorian era when they started to enjoy a resurgence. 'The First Nowell' - or 'First Noel' as it is normally known today - was originally a traditional Cornish Carol. It was first published in a collection called Xmas Carols Ancient and Modern in 1833 by a solicitor William Sandys

Joy to the World
We have Handel to thank in part for this Christmas favourite as it was his original melody from Messiah, which composer Lowell Mason used. The words came from Isaac Watts, an English theologian. He returned home after attending church one day and told his father that he hadn’t been particularly inspired by the music he’d heard during the service and that he thought he could do a better job. He was right

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Dating back to the late 18th century, this popular seasonal song was reportedly used to help youngsters learn about their faith with each gift having a significant meaning – for example, the partridge represents Christ; the calling birds, the four Gospels; the Lords are the Ten Commandments – and so on. There’s a rather different version in the west of France. It’s all about food! Among the delicacies sung about are four pigs trotters, seven spitted rabbits, eight plates of salad and ten full casks