[I apologise for posting this AFTER Sean’s general Christmas greetings, but I prepared this one a few days ago specially for today so I ask for clemency just in case.]
Here are some of my favourite Christmas carols:
To begin with, the big international hit, which even played a role in bringing the opposing troops together on the Western Front on that special night exactly 99 years ago today[*] – when the very last of the lights Lord Grey was talking about flickered one last defiant time before succumbing to forces of darkness completely. I chose this version:
Next, continuing the triumphant note, and as this is an English blog, a great English carol , in a quintessentially English setting:
Third, a Lutheran carol,
This popular carol from (at least) the 16th century is the only one I know that openly draws on the Old Testament roots of the whole Christmas story.
Finally, a folksy German carol (and comparatively modern, from 1895).
Merry Christmas everyone! Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.
[*] From the book “Christmas Truce” by Malcom Brown and Shirley Seaton (Pan Books 2001):
“Stille Nacht – Silent Night, in its English form – stands out as being the carol most particularly and affectionately remembered by the listening Tommies, so much so that many of them could never hear that hymn in later life without being instantaneously transported byck to the Western Front, Christmas Eve 1914.” (p. 57)