Christmas carols: the history behind 5 festive favourites
Silent Night was a favourite throughout the19th century.
One charming tale tells of mice chewing through pieces of St Nikola's organ, leaving the church without music on Christmas Eve 1818. Schoolmaster Frans Xaver Gruber and priest Joseph Mohr stepped in to save the day by composing a simple carol that could be sung with just guitar accompaniment.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Church records from the 15th and 16th centuries show that holly and ivy were bought in the winter. Private houses were also decorated with greenery at this time.
The precursor to the Christ...
In Germany, "Paradise Plays" were performed to celebrate the feast day of Adam and Eve, which was on Christmas Eve. A tree of knowledge was represented by an evergreen fir with apples tied to its branches.
In 1419, a guild in Freiburg put up a tree decorated with apples, wafers, tinsel and gingerbread.
Until recent times, community singing was thought to have decreased in popularity, suggesting less of a sense of tradition than there used to be.
But in recent years, there have been signs...
Christmas is one of the few times people feel they can sing together. Christmas songs are one of the few remaining national repertoires.
As you go in from a cold night into a warm pub full of people who want to share the songs, you gain a deep sense of pride and connection, and you're sharing the traditional with past and future generations.