Holidays: Top Ten Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols and Stained Glass

5- We Three Kings –
In 1857 Rev. John Henry Hopkings penned this carol. It was originally written for New York’s General Theological Seminary and their pageant at Christmas time.

4- What Child is This –
Once called The Manger Throne, this song was written in 1865 by an Englishman, William Chatterton Dix. Dix wrote over 40 hymns in his life.

3- Little Drummer Boy –
Based on a traditional carol from Czechoslovakia, this song was once called Carol of the Drum. Written not long ago, Katherine K. Davis wrote this song in 1941.

2- O Come, O Come Emmanuel –
Perhaps one of the oldest carols sung today, this piece was an advent hymn written as far back as the 12th century in medieval Rome for the Catholic church.

Nativity Painting
1- O Holy Night –
One of the most difficult carols to sing, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure of France was commissioned to write this song for Christmas Mass in 1847. He was inspired by the Gospel of Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ. The poet needed the assistance of his friend, Adolphe-Charles Adam, to compose the music. Adam was world-renowned for his work. A wonderful piece of trivia regarding the Christmas carol, on Christmas Eve 1906 one Reginal Fessenden generated a microphone over wires and airwaves and spoke into it. He read part of the Gospel of Luke and then broke out into song, singing O Holy Night. This song was the first song in history to be broadcast.

There are plenty of really meaningful Christmas songs that could be chosen to be in the Top Ten, but the Christmas songs in the Top Ten move me every time I hear them. They are powerful, along with their message.

If you are familiar with any of these Christmas carols, then perhaps you will agree with the selection. If you haven’t heard of all these Christmas songs and didn’t know their history, then you are in for an extra treat should you give them a listen. In fact, I think Christmas should be celebrated all year and these songs included.

By Jori Sams

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