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,