"Away in a Manger" is certainly a familiar tune to us, but some may not realize that this traditional melody was borrowed from an existing Johann Strauss waltz written about 19 years before the poem. Note the resemblance below starting at 2:48:
I'd also like to mention "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." The words were written in 1739 by Charles Wesley – well, not exactly the ones we use today. Wesley's words were changed slightly by George Whitefield and later a portion of "Festgesang" by Felix Mendelssohn (a song written to commemorate the invention of movable type) was used instead of Wesley's preferred tune at the time. If you'd like to hear how the Christmas song might have sounded if Wesley had his way, you can play the video and sing along with the printed words below (the intro ends at about 0:21).
Hark, the herald angels sing
Yep, Wesley wanted his words to use the tune to "Christ the Lord Has Risen Today." Talk about confusing! It would be hard for me to keep Christmas and Easter separate. Although I do like Mendelssohn. If this has your mind all mixed up, here's a version with the traditional lyrics and Mendelssohn's music that you probably recognize:
"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 the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
There's also a Mendelssohn connection to another Christmas tune. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" is usually set to the "Carol" by Richard Storrs Willis who was trained by Mendelssohn.
So, while I agree with most of you that I like the familiarity of traditional Christmas songs, I also like to hear creative adaptations of these tunes, because they get me to focus on the lyrics which are also beautiful in their own right.
A resonant rebuttal Nate.
To add my two cents here.
Christmas music has always been among my favorite music. Often the music itself is more interesting than the lyrics.
I would recommend John Fahey's Christmas recordings as a perfect example. He was a finger picking guitar genius who recorded a few albums of outstanding seasonal music.
The Kings Singers acapella Christmas music albums never fail to put me in the spirit of the Christmas season.
I should also add that the Kings Singers also recorded some great interpertations of Beatle songs.
Good point about the lyrics, Nate.
Maybe I'll need to rethink my aversion to Christmas songs sung in nontraditional style. Our pastor focusses attention on the lyrics of the closing hymn by signalling the pianist to stop playing on the second or third verse; then he reads the lyrics to that verse & comments very briefly on them, then we sing the final verses. I like the effect of that. Somewhat paradoxically, I like instrumental versions of hymns because I find myself mentally or literally singing the words, and it helps me focus on them.
شركة نقل عفش
اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
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