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  • Jemma Van Der Byl

Autumn Term - week 12

Can you believe Christmas Day is exactly THREE weeks away today! Preparations for celebrations are slightly different this year but I’m sure many of you will be taking part in musical activities at school. I wonder if you are singing any traditional carols as well as modern songs?

Did you know CAROLS were originally songs to celebrate different times of the year (such as the harvest) and not just Christmas?

Here are some more curious Christmas music facts….

  1. The first carols were possibly sung as long ago as the 4th century in Rome.

  2. In 1582 a collection of songs was published in Germany called Piae Cantiones and it includes carols that we still sing today such as Good King Wenceslas.

  3. Before we had carol singers visiting houses around Christmas, we had WASSAILERS who would go from door-to-door singing, offering a drink of punch from the special wassail bowl and demanding food and drink in return!



4. Christmas carols were BANNED between 1647 and 1660 by Oliver Cromwell who believed that Christmas should be a very solemn day.




5. Silent Night is the most recorded Christmas song of all time. It has been recorded 137,315 times!!! WATCH this version of it sung by our very own Canterbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K22_lnVPhwo


6. When it was first performed in Austria in 1818, Silent Night was accompanied by a guitar as the organ had been damaged by a flood.

7. Around 3 MILLION people from all over the world listen to the much-loved Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge broadcast on Christmas Eve every year.



8. White Christmas is the best-selling Christmas record. It has sold around 350 MILLION copies!

9. Rockin’ Around the Christmas tree, which appears in Home Alone when Kevin is faking a party, was sung by Brenda Lee in 1958 when she was only 13!

10. Jingle bells (written in 1857) was the first song performed in space by American astronauts in 1965, accompanied by a tiny harmonica and some sleigh bells they had smuggled on board!

I hope you enjoy your own preparations for Christmas at home and at school this week.

Have a good week!

Jemma


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