Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Carols & Songs 2012

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A carol is a song of praise or joy, especially for Christmas. But it is also an old round dance often accompanied by singing.  The word was probably from Old French, derived from Latin choraula, which means "choral song".
Enjoy a selection of traditional Christmas carols and songs in English. Lyrics are included, so you can learn how to sing them!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town:





The Twelve Days of Christmas
The meaning for each day in the song is explained below: 
1 True Love refers to God
2 Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying refers to the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking refers to the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing refers to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping refers to the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming refers to the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed




Jingle Bells
Believe it or not Jingle Bells, one of the most famous American Christmas songs, was originally written for Thanksgiving! The author and composer of Jingle Bells was a minister called James Pierpoint who composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating his Boston Sunday School Thanksgiving. The song was so popular that it was repeated at Christmas, and indeed Jingle Bells has been reprised ever since. The essence of a traditional Christmas is captured in the lyrics of Jingle Bells and the sound effects using the bells have become synonymous with the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus to the delight of children of all ages! (Learn a song version; you can listen, repeat and learn the song):



White Christmas
The song White Christmas is undoubtedly the most famous and popular of all the Christmas songs. The music and lyrics for White Christmas were written by Irving Berlin in 1942 and originally featured in the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby. The lyrics of White Christmas struck a chord with the soldiers fighting in the Second World War and their families who were waiting for them back home. The song and recording of White Christmas by Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter's orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers was so popular that it was later reprised in the movie called after its name - White Christmas. The film White Christmas once again starred Bing Crosby together with Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.




Silent Night.
The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!:




O Come All Ye Faithful! 
The text to the Carol O Come All Ye Faithful was originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) and was intended to be a hymn, it is attributed to John Wade, an Englishman. The music to O Come All Ye Faithful was composed by fellow Englishman John Reading in the early 1700s. The tune was first published in a collection known as "Cantus Diversi" in 1751. In 1841 Rev. Frederick Oakley is reputed to have worked on the familiar translation of O Come All Ye Faithful which replaced the older Latin lyrics "Adeste Fideles".





We wish you a Merry Christmas
The author and composer of We Wish You a Merry Christmas cannot be traced however it is believed to date back to England in the sixteenth century. The tradition of carollers being given Christmas treats for singing to wealthy members of the community is reflected in this Christmas song - We Wish You a Merry Christmas! Over the years the fashion for figgy puddings mentioned in We Wish You a Merry Christmas has faded. But for the curious, the recipe consisted of the most important ingredient which was of course figs together with butter, sugar, eggs ,milk, rum, apple, lemon and orange peel, nuts, cinnamon, cloves and ginger! Not dissimilar to the modern day Christmas Puddings!



Auld Lang Syne. 
Although not strictly a Christmas song this section would not be complete without the inclusion of the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne. The song Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung by most of us on the stroke of midnight each New Years Eve. However in Scotland, where Auld Lang Syne originates it is also sung on Burns Night, January 25th, to celebrate the life of the author and famous poet Robert Burns. The lyrics of Auld Lang Syne actually consist of five verses. The words 'Auld Lang Syne' literally translates from old Scottish dialect meaning 'Old Long Ago' and is about love and friendship in times past. The lyrics in the song Auld Lang Syne referring to 'We'll take a Cup of Kindness yet' relate to a drink shared by men and women to symbolise friendship. Happy New Year!!!



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2 comments:

  1. Great post! But I'm afraid that you forget some songs. Glee's album is fantastic and I recomend it :)
    My favourite Christmas song is ''Last Christmas'', and with this song I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!

    http://youtu.be/ehwHZg_owDw

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Student,

    Thanks for your comment, but as it is stated in paragraph #1 this post is a SELECTION and by no means do we intend to offer a comprehensive record of Christmas carols —— which, to say the least, would be rather pointless...
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

    PS: *recomend >> recoMMend

    ReplyDelete

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