Christmas Hymn Story: In the Bleak Mid-Winter

English poet Christina Rosetti published a poem under the title “A Christmas Carol” in January 1872 issue of Scribner’s Monthly. Composer Gustav Holst composed a setting to her words in 1906. The new hymn appeared in The English Hymnal under the title “In the Bleak Midwinter”. In 1909, Harold Darke composed an anthem for the piece, which is widely performed […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Star of the East

Star of the East was originally named “Stern über Bethlehem”. In 1883, composer Amanda Kennedy composed a melody “Star of the Sea”. George Cooper, a New York lyricists, wrote the lyrics in 1890. The song is not the same as the folk carol “Star in the East” or English carol “Star of the East”. Judy Garland recorded the song in 1941.

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Shepherds Arise

Shepherds Arise! Be Not Afraid is first recorded by a church in Dorset England. The carol dates back to the 19th century. The carol was first published in the 1926 A Collection of Dorset Carols.  The book was published by William Adair Pickard-Cambridge, a classics scholar and organists, who obtained several manuscripts from the early 19th Century. The author of Shepherd’s Arise in unknown and was […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Once in Royal David’s City

The carol originally appeared as a poem written by Cecil Frances Alexander. The poem was first published in the 1848 Hymns for Little Children. The poem tells the story of the nativity and was combined in a collection with other well-known hymns such as “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and “There is a Green Hill Far Away”. The following year, Henry […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: In the Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleak Midwinter is based on a poem by Christina Rossetti, an English poet. The poem was published in the January 1872 issue of Scribner’s Monthly under the title “A Christmas Carol”. The 1906 English Hymnal first published the poem set to music by Gustav Holst. In 1911, Harold Darke wrote a more complex anthem which is often used […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Candlelight Carol

John Rutter, an English composer and conductor, wrote Candlelight Carol in 1984. He recorded the song with his own group, the Cambridge Singers. The group released the song on their 1987 album Christmas Night. The song was commissioned by a church in Pennsylvania celebrating the Virgin Mary. Rutter is said to draw inspiration from the Geertgen’s painting, Nativity at Night. […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Calypso Carol

The Calypso Carol is often known by it’s opening line “See him lying on a bed of straw”. Some announcers have introduced the song as a traditional folk carol of the West Indies. However, it was written by an Englishman, Michael Perry. Perry wrote the song in 1964 while a college student for their Christmas concert. The song became famous by […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Christmas Canon

Christmas Canon is set to Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. Paul O’Neill provided lyrics to Pachelbel’s music. The song is performed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra and a departure from their normal rock arrangements. The group is accompanied by a children’s choir and was released on the 1998 album The Christmas Attic. As on 2016, the song ranked 7th among the all-time […]

Read more

Biblical 12 days of Christmas

1.       On the first day of Christmas an Angel appears to Mary with the most unexpected news of all                                                              {Luke 1:26-38} 2.       On the second day of Christmas Mary travels to visit Elizabeth and the babe within her leapt                                                   {Luke 1:39-45} 3.       On the third day of Christmas an angel gives Joseph a vision to keep Mary as his own                                                                     {Mathew […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Mary’s Boy Child

Mary’s Boy Child is a popular Christmas carol written in 1956 by Jester Hairston. Hairston roomed with a friend who asked him to write a song for a birthday party. He wrote the song with a calypso rhythm for the culture of those attending and titled the song “He Pone and Chocolate Tea”. However, the song was never recorded in this […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: The Friendly Beasts

The Friendly Beasts is another strong contender as one of the oldest Christmas songs. It was written in French about the animals surrounded Christ at the nativity. The song is about the gifts that five animals {a donkey, cow, sheep, camel and dove} brought to baby Jesus.  The song dates back to the 12th Century. The French lyrics were set to […]

Read more

Christmas in the Air: Taste of Christmas

Hot chocolate with marshmallows to make us smile Christmas cookies of every shape, color and design Turkey and ham warms our tummy on that special day Pies of every flavor and size to top it all off Eggnog is a special delight for us all to behold Gingerbread to decorate in a variety of ways Peppermint reminds us it’s almost […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Of the Father’s Love Begotten is another song considered among the oldest Christmas hymns. It started as a Latin poem titled “Corde natus” and was written by the Roman poet Auerlius Prudentius. He wrote it for his Liber Cathemerinon.  The song was paired with the plainchant, Medieval melody “Divinum mysterium”. Over the years the plainchant was musically embellished. The melody first appears in […]

Read more

Christmas in the Air: Visions of Christmas

Christmas Trees of every size, color and theme Flickering  Lights blinking to music so light Falling Snow to whiten the ground Shiny Packages to entice our curiosity Nativity Sets to remind us of Jesus birth Horse drawn carriages to dream of days gone by Carolers on the walk wrapped against the cold air Santa with his elves and reindeer to […]

Read more

Christmas Song Story: Jesus Illuminates All

A friend was searching for the oldest Christmas hymns and stumbled upon this hymn. So, it lead me to search out the stories behind these old Christmas hymns. The song was composed in Latin by St. Hilary of Poitiers in the fourth century. The Latin translation is “Jesus refulsit omnium”. The song is said to have been composed after the first […]

Read more
1 2 3 6