Corals are religiouse songs, they are prayers or celebration of holy event or man. Christmas songs are very different !
Coral is an ancient traditiongoing far back before the Christianity; some are written on different
not 7 note/tune scale harmony! It is an 'institution' ! In old times people used to come door to door and get a penny or some food for their excellent wishing. Now, as we do not want to break into someone's private life, we have a specific day and time when we invite to sing , listen and to participate in some charitable events!
Carols are not always» a come-together song». They had a bit of drama too. Christmas carols were banned between 1649 and 1660 in England by Oliver Cromwell, who thought that Christmas should be a solemn day. When Protestants, inspired by Martin Luther, took to the joy of Christmas carols, Tand joy of old church. No wonder they had to run away to the Americas to create a new heaven.
Fortunately, in Europe, when carols couldn’t be sung in Churches, they found a stage elsewhere. The world’s most famous religious play, the Passion Play, was staged in Germany in 1634 (performed every ten years since). In the 1700s, the music by Mendelssohn and Handel was adapted and used as Christmas carols. And no wonder we got many Carols from German states. Motzart was not charmed by England, but Hendel and Mendelssohn were. Did you know? Hendel died in 1759 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, recognized in England as the greatest composer of his day.
1 Oh, Come Oh Come Emmanuel!
You can read in Wiki ,'he text was originally written in Latin. It is a metrical paraphrase of the O Antiphons, a series of plainchant antiphons attached to the Magnificat at Vespers over the final days before Christmas. The hymn has its origins over 1,200 years ago in monastic life in the 8th or 9th century.' It has thy/thee, as translation was made before the pronoun YOU became widely used.
I love two versions : one sang by Enya, another a bit more rock anthem. '
The Other sounds more like Meatloaf…
I suppose you can see some words just right for the moment…
'Oh come, Oh come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, Oh Israel!
Oh come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer Thy people with Thine advent here; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night And death's dark shadows put to flight'
It came from German language Austria, at first there were verses(lyrics, poetry) written by Joseph Mohr,a priest from a small town Obendorf near Saltsburg, and then Franz Xaver Gruber put those words on tune.
American priest John Freeman Young translated it into English and it became 'viral'(infectious like) , as we say now. Simple tune, easy to learn! Nice…
And you might find it 'interesting', nothing compare to you…
Sorry , I cannot bear it at all!
BEAR is a good word to puzzle people! A bearfoot has nothing to do with I cannot bear … nor with a bear, then there is to bear -bore- born,and when driving you might be asked to bear left
3 Joy to The World
I LOVE IT! Basically it is a Psalm, to be precise written by Isaac Watts, Methodist Minister, 'Father of Religiouse Enlgish Hymn”and some character, I would say. Psalm 98 sound rather cheerful, that makes me feel that Jesus wasa a merry lad really…
Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy
4 Oh, Come , All Ye Faithful
This is a heavy staff, I have a picture of a congregation looking kind of seriouse and strict. So I add PreRapahelit picture from a free sorce Unsplash, kindly published by Birmingham Museum. The title is The Star of Bethlehem, 1887-1891. Sir Edward Burne-Jones *Nativity scene. To the left, Joseph, Mary and the infant Christ to the right, the three kings, Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar.
This song has one of the most mysterious origin stories. The origine is not known and it has all romantic , being variously attributed to British hymnist John Francis Wade, British composer John Reading, or King John IV of Portugal. The oldest known original manuscript is in the Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, dating back to 1751.
Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, Glory in the highest;
5 Angles ,We Have Heard on High
Boy Choir are still here and popular in Britain. Who could think that boy choir singer became Keith Richard of The Rolling Stones. Bless him!
This is great when it is done in Pentatonic.
6 Hark! The Herald Angles Sing
Oh with this strange word HARK… It is read as LISTEN ! This Corla also went through segnificant changes. Written in 18th century it could not keep the same language as it was written. Weslian church was at it's very begining, when John Wessley wrote the verses for the Hymn, but only when Felix Mendelsohn created music in a bit Glorious stlye of the 18 th century the Hymn became that cheerful statement of Christmas we know now.
Hark! the herald angels sing:
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic hosts proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! the herald angels sing:
“Glory to the newborn King!”
7. The Three Kings
I suggest, many would love with ballad like song. Sweetie romantic! It also ahs the flavour of Middle eastern Music, written for 3 voices by John H Hopkins in Pennsylvania in 1857, makes it Victorian period music piece. If I want to go to the good town Bremen to become a street musician or basker, in English, I would learn to play this song.
8 Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem
1868 song by Phillips Brooks,written on different tune,then another Lewis Redner.In the United Kingdom and The Cpmmonwelth, and sometimes in the U.S. , the English hymn tune "Forest Green" is used instead.
Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above While mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love Oh morning stars together, proclaim thy holy birth. And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth. Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
9 The Twelve Days of Christmas
It is probably one of the strangest songs, not a carol but rather older kind of ceremony.
' The most likely origin of the carol is in a memory game played on Twelfth Night many years ago.
The players would sing a verse in turn and each player would add a new gift when it came to their own verse - the catch was that they had to remember the all the earlier gifts as they sang their way through the list of presents. Anyone who forgot a gift would have to pay a forfeit to entertain everyone else.
That's the story given by The New Oxford Book of Carols, which records that the version we sing nowadays was printed in 1864, although other versions appeared earlier.'
It is full of symbols and I am not sure all Christian
BBC ( smae source). «partridge in a pear tree. Said to symbolise Jesus Christ, a mother partridge protecting her nestlings (Jesus's followers).
Two turtle dove is a symbol of The Old and the New Testaments.
Three French hens-The Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity.
Four calling/colly birds-The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Five gold rings.-The first five books of the Old Testament telling the story of man's fall from grace.
Six geese a laying. -The six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming. -The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Eight maids a-milking.-- The eight Beastitudes.
Nine ladies dancing.- The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Ten lords a-leaping- The Ten Commandments.
Eleven pipers piping -The eleven faithful disciples.
Twelve drummers drumming -The twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.»
10th is a Modern Song to dilute all this Psalm and Glory !
It is to dilute the old staff… And at the end of the list I think it is worth to add cheerful and true story. They met in New York, drunk, and at the start they swear and call each other names…So you see the difference between Carol and a song.
«It was Christmas Eve, babe,
in the drunk tank,
an old man said to me, "won't see another one",
“A Christmas Carol” How can we miss it? American films, British films, little bit scary — so they should!
Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1834. Dickens was one of the first to show his readers a new way of celebrating the old Yule holiday in modern ways.Yule is a certain type of log that should burn all 12 days to keep good spirits in, Yule isold English, you can get echo of this word in Scandinavian. But Dickens stands at the very begining , he and royal family set up the way it is to be celebrated.He adapted the 12-day Yule feast to a one-day party any family could hold in their own home instead of gathering together an entire village, as was the tradition.
And he wrote a moral story :A Christmas Carol is filled with magic, mystery, and song. The joyous carol had come home at last!