The Carols of Christmas: A Celebration of the Surprising Stories Behind Your Favorite Holiday Songs

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Every song has a story, and some of the most interesting stories are those about Christmas carols. Andrew Gant is a musician, choirmaster, composer, university teacher and writer who seems to have a particular love of carols and their history and the expertise to bring those stories alive for the rest of us. Gant chose twenty Christmas carols to study, most of which are very familiar to most people in this country. He has included a very complete write-up of each including the origin, composer if known, original lyrics, how the carol has evolved over the years, and whatever other historical information he has been able to discover. He also includes the music and lyrics as a written score.

Not all of these familiar songs started their musical lives as anything to do with Christmas. Some were pagan paeans or simply winter holiday songs before being adopted for Christmas and, in some cases, largely rewritten.

While this is a very scholarly work, it doesn’t prevent Gant from flashing a wonderful sense of humor in his writing that keeps what could be very dry subject matter from becoming so. Anyone interested in music will enjoy reading this impressive work.


Reviewed By:

Author Andrew Gant
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Nelson Books
Publish Date 2015-Sep-15
ISBN 9780718031527
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2015
Category Seasonal
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