The Carols of Christmas, by Andrew Gant


Hello again, savvy savers! Tonight finds us with a new book review, and this time its a review of The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of the Surprising Stories Behind Your Favorite Holiday Songs by Andrew Gant. If you are anything like me, you love all things Christmas. Form its lights, to its sounds, and most certainly its music.

For those who love Christmas Carols, this is a book for you! has been fun to read.  Gant allows the reader a glimpse into the magic that is each Carol, including a generalized summary of the history of some of our best known and most love Carols.

An example is:

From Oxford professor and renowned British composer, a joyous account of the history behind our favorite carols.

Everyone loves a carol-in the end, even Ebenezer Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of mid-winter mood, like the aroma of gingerbread or the twinkle of lights on a tree. It’s a kind of magic.

But how did they get that magic? Andrew Gant-choirmaster, church musician, university professor, and writer-tells the story of twenty of our favorite carols, each accompanied by lyrics and music, unraveling a captivating, and often surprising, tale of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys and choirboys. Readers get to delve into the history such favorites as “Good King Wenceslas,” “Away in a Manger,” and “O, Tannenbaum,” discovering along the way how “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” came to replace “Hark, how all the welkin’ ring” and how Ralph Vaughan Williams applied the tune of an English folk song about a dead ox to a poem by a nineteenth century American pilgrim to make “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

A charming book that brims with anecdote, expert knowledge, and Christmas spirit, this is a fittingly joyous account of one of the best-loved musical traditions.

The remaining sections, though short, are simple to follow easy to read in a single sitting.     Other songs, in addition to those mentioned above, include:

  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • Good Christian Men, Rejoice
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful
  • While Shepherds Watched
  • O Holy Night
  • Ding dong! Merrily on High
  • Angels from the Realms of Glory
  • I Wonder As I Wander
  • Personent hodie
  • Here We Come a-Wassailing
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Three Kings
  • What Child Is This?
  • Jingle Bells

With the holiday season a few short months away, this is a must have reading this holiday season. To find out more about this book, click here!



I received this book as a review copy from Blogging For Books. All opinion expressed are that of my own.

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