The Story Of Carols - Series Two
The Story Of Carols - Series Two
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If you've ever wondered when Christmas carols first came about, the answer lies in the 14th century – although their evolution dates back even further. Even before Christianity, it is thought that midwinter songs existed to keep up people's spirits, along with dances, plays and feasts.

We’ve all heard of having a cup of wassail at Christmas time. We’ve even heard of wassailing as an event, - a celebration of merriment, as in “here we come a wassailing. But, did you know we still go wassailing today?” But did you know we still go a wassailing today?

Here We Come A Wassailing

George Gershwin never officially wrote a Christmas tune. But, one of his little known, show tunes, “Snow Flakes,” is beginning to turn up as a carol in waiting.

Snow Flakes

On the morning of January 8th, 1940 Irving Berlin, turned up at his Broadway publishing office. Without missing a beat he announced he’d written a song over the weekend. “Not only is it the best song I ever wrote,” he told his assistant. “It’s the best song anybody ever wrote.”

White Christmas

The main motif of Carol of The Bells is only four notes, but Mykola Leontovych managed to get far more out of them than the sum of their parts. Considering the strife going on all around him, it’s amazing that he was able to write music at all.

Carol Of The Bells

The Nutcracker is the Olympics of ballet. Even people who actively dislike sports - watch the Olympics, and are be moved by the pageantry, dedication and physical skill. For the participants, it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Exactly the same can be said for The Nutcracker. But no one expected a children’s fairy tale to become the worlds best known ballet.

The Nutcracker

Los Angeles 1945 was one of the hottest on summers on record, and that’s when the power of positive thinking produced one of the best loved Christmas songs of all time.

 

The Christmas Song

We tend to think of “Good King Wenceslaus” as an Old English carol. But, Wenceslaus, is an historic figure from first millennium Bohemia... what is now the Czech Republic, and he wasn’t a king. He was a Duke. His story though, has all the palace intrigue of a Shakespeare tragedy.

Good King Wenceslaus

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