When it comes to Christmas carols, it turns out the younger generation doesn’t sing from the same hymn sheet!
We revealed yesterday that over a third of Silent Night’s words were mistaken, thinking it was “Round John virgin mother and child” rather than “Round yon virgin mother and child”.
While less than a quarter are able to hum the tune of O Come All Ye Faithful.
But according to the same survey, the most recognized traditional Christmas carols are an important part of the holiday season.
Here, Kim Carr brings you 12 Days of Christmas, Merry and Triumphant, facts about Christmas carols …
Christmas carols first appeared in the 18th century and Silent Night was first broadcast in 1818. The story goes that the Austrian Catholic priest Joseph Mohr began to transform his poem Stille Nacht into a Christmas carol when mice damaged his church organ and he didn’t have another. way of entertaining parishioners.
The Christmas carol service took off in 1880 when Bishop of Truro Edward White Benson – fed up with locals getting run over on Christmas Eve – decided he wanted to draw people from the pub to the church. Previously, Christmas carols were sung in the boozer like folk songs.
Silent Night inspired a truce on Christmas Eve 1914 during World War I. British troops heard the Germans singing Stille Nacht. They responded by singing the lyrics in English. Eventually, the troops emerged from the trenches to meet and play football.
Christmas carols have evolved over the years with Hark The Herald Angels Sing which began as “Hark how all the welkins ring” when it was written by Charles Wesley, co-founder of Methodism. Preacher George Whitefield adjusted it to what we know now. Welsey was not happy because the angels who appear to the Shepherd announce their news, do not sing it.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel was originally written in Latin, then translated in 1851 by priest and scholar John Mason Neale. He also wrote The Good King Wenceslas, making him one of the most festive clergymen in history.
But the good King Wenceslas in the title was not actually a king or called Wenceslas. The Christmas carol was based on Vaclav, the 10th century Duke of Bohemia. His mother had his mother-in-law strangled, so he exiled her and spent his time helping the poor.
French wine seller Placide Cappeau was invited by his local parish priest to write a festive poem in 1847 to celebrate the renovation of the church organ. He came with O Holy Night.
In The Bleak Midwinter was a creation by English poet Christina Rossetti, while children’s poet Cecil Frances Alexander – who also coined the anthem All Things Bright And Beautiful – wrote Once In Royal David’s City.
And O Little Town Of Bethlehem was written by Rector Phillips Brooks, who went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and was inspired by the sight of Jesus’ birthplace when he saw it from the hills above.
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It’s not just Silent Night that leaves Brits scratching their heads. Polls have revealed that we think it is “Deck the halls with holly bras” rather than “holly branches”.
Some also think it is “good news that we bring you and your king” rather than “parents” in We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
While some people think that “And let the nations prove” from Joy To The World, should be sung like “prudes”.