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Christmas Carol Singers

1st Dec 2010

It must be the festive season, the snow has arrived! Thoughts of Christmas and all its wonderful parts start filling our minds - roast turkey and all the trimmings, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, mince pies and mulled wine and time to relax with family and friends. And the one thing we all love when the festive season is upon us is the sound of carol singers igniting our Christmas spirit with a selection of our favourite Christmas carols.
 
Every year from October through to the end of December we are inundated with requests for our professional carol singers to perform at private parties and corporate functions around the country, from grand venues to private homes. As guests mingle with mulled wine in one hand and a mince pie in the other, we provide the Christmas spirit! The sound of our professional carol singers singing your favourite carols by the Christmas tree while the log fire burns brightly is something that lives in the memory forever.
 
So what are your top five Christmas carols?
 
At number one is the all time favourite Hark the Herald Angels Sing written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, who thought of the hymn while listening to church bells one Christmas day.
 
Close to taking the number one spot is O Come All Ye Faithful. There are around 50 different English versions sung by carol singers the most popular was translated in 1841 by Frederick Oakeley an Anglican priest who wrote “Ye faithful, approach ye”. In 1845 after his conversion to Catholicism he rewrote the opening lines as “O come all ye faithful / Joyfully triumphant.”
 
And in the top three is O Little Town of Bethlehem written in 1867 by Reverend Phillips Brooks a Philidelphian vicar, after a ride by horseback from Jerusalem to Bethlehem where he helped at Midnight Mass.
 
In fourth place is the nativity play favourite Away in a Manger first printed in 1885 anonymously in the Lutheran book, Little Children’s Book for Schools and Families. John T McFarland added the thrid verse and in 1887 the words were set to music composed by James Murray in Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses.
 
Coming in at number five is a Chistmas Carol no Christmas would be the same without - Silent Night. Karl Mauracher, is known to have commenced its journey around the world when he took a copy away with him when working on the Oberndorf organ. The carol is now sung by carol singers around the world in 150 different languages.
 
So there you have it five great Christmas carols that will have everyone singing along this Christmas!
 
And now for our interesting weekly fact - did you know that some composers have written extended works based on carols, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams (Fantasia on Christmas Carols), Victor Hely-Hutchinson (Carol Symphony) and Benjamin Britten (A Ceremony of Carols).
 



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