Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Favorite Christmas Carols Meme

Over at Crunchy Cons today, I posted a "just for fun" piece about favorite Christmas carols, linked to this news article about Britain's top ten Christmas faves. From that article, here's the list:

1. Silent Night

2. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

3. O Come All Ye Faithful

4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

5. Away in a Manger

6. Little Donkey

7. Once in Royal David's City

8. The Twelve Days of Christmas

9. O Little Town of Bethlehem

10. Ding Dong Merrily on High

My favorite, "O Holy Night," didn't even make the list. And I didn't want to appear too ignorant on a heavily trafficked blog like CC, but I've got to ask: what the heck is "Little Donkey?"

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to ask some of the same questions, with some additions, over here; if anybody wants to use this as a blog meme, go ahead!

Christmas Carols:

1. Love 'em, hate 'em, tolerate 'em, or...?

2. Policy: none before Christmas, none before Thanksgiving, or...?

3. Favorite? Favorites, if you've got more than one?

4. Least favorite? Drives you batty/hate it/turn it off if it comes on the radio?

5. Caroling door to door in neighborhood? Ever done it/would do it? Wouldn't even consider it?

6. Funniest kids' rendition, if any?

7. Most inappropriate carol ever heard in a church setting (Catholic or otherwise)?

8. The one foreign language carol I know (or know best) is...?

9. Carol that perplexes you the most?

10. Carol your whole family will sing?

You don't have to answer all ten, and you can answer here in the combox or on your own blog--if you answer on the blog, drop me a link in the combox so I can see! And forwarding--totally up to you, if you want to ask other people to join in.

Here are my answers:

1. Love 'em.

2. Break down during Advent, always.

3. O Holy Night, though I like lots of others.

4. The "Do They Know It's Christmas" eighties Band-Aid song I linked to on Crunchy Cons. I know it was for a good cause, but it's shudderingly bad.

5. Yep, as a kid; would do it if the chance came up.

6. Wish I could remember one! Hoping some of you will!

7. My brother tried to sing the "smoking on a rubber cigar" version of "We Three Kings" at Mass. He was under five, though. ;)

8. Probably just "Feliz Navidad."

9. "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In." What the heck is up with that song?

10. Lots of them, but here we probably come to "Silent Night," 'cause they all like it.

Your turn! :)


Charlotte (Matilda) said...

I posted mine here. Scroll down.

Red Cardigan said...

Thanks, sis! :)

Lindsay said...

1. Love 'em, hate 'em, tolerate 'em, or...? Love 'em

2. Policy: none before Christmas, none before Thanksgiving, or...? Sometimes make it to Thanksgiving.

3. Favorite? Favorites, if you've got more than one? Sleigh Ride, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Still, Still, Still, and Of the Father's Love Begotten (which no one ever knows buts is just SO beautiful!), Lulee, Lulay

4. Least favorite? Drives you batty/hate it/turn it off if it comes on the radio? Christmas Shoes, and the River to Skate Away On (how is that even a Christmas song?) OH, and Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart

5. Caroling door to door in neighborhood? Ever done it/would do it? Wouldn't even consider it? Many times, love it, difficult to do with small children

6. Funniest kids' rendition, if any? Hmmm, the "I Want a Hippopatamus for Christmas Song" cracks me up, and I always laugh during the Muppets 12 Days of Christmas, but I don't know if that counts.

7. Most inappropriate carol ever heard in a church setting (Catholic or otherwise)?Can't recall one, but Santa Baby would probably be the worst I could imagine...

8. The one foreign language carol I know (or know best) is...? Esta noche nace un NiƱo (Spanish) I sang it once in a concert and its on the Chanticleer cd.

9. Carol that perplexes you the most?Probably the River to Skate Away On song--did I mention I have no idea why that is even considered a Christmas song?

10. Carol your whole family will sing? So far? Jingle Bells, but my oldest is 4, and we're working on Oh, Come, Oh Come Emmanuel this year as we light the Advent candle

Kerri said...

O Holy Night is my favorite, too, though it is so hard to sing it well.

Most cringe inducing, "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney or the Beatles, not sure. Or "Last Christmas" by George Michael. Both stubbornly get stuck in my head.

Red Cardigan said...

I love "Of the Father's Love Begotten!" We just sang a beautiful version of that song at our choir fundraising concert!

If you go to this website:

and search for a song called "Night of the Father's Love," and then click on the audio or Mp3 link that comes up with the sheet music, you can hear it. :)

(Sorry--there's no way to do a direct link that I could find.)

Nicola said...

This is a link to "Little Donkey"

It's more of a children's carol. Not one of my favourites, but it's a staple at most primary (elementary) school Christmas concerts.

j. christian said...

1. LOVE 'EM.

2. After Thanksgiving, although I've been known to sing them inexplicably in July. Probably because they're about the only songs with a tessitura I can manage.

3. What Child Is This, Silent Night, Adeste Fidelis, Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Coventry Carol (ick lyrics, though), etc. Basically anything NOT contemporary. If it came from England or Germany a few hundred years ago, I probably like it.

4. Anything pop/contemporary. "Santa Baby" is played on endless loop in Hell. (Although I'll say this: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" isn't all bad, considering the horrific "We Are the World" thing the Americans put out...)

5. I think I went caroling once as a kid... Not sure, though.

6. ???

7. ???

8. Feliz Navidad! Or maybe Personent Hodie?

9. Carol of the Bells...

10. Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, to the lighting of our Advent wreath candles.

Awesome topic!!!

Rebecca said...

I love Christmas Carols, and sometimes organize neighborhood caroling. People think we're crazy, but if we practice beforehand it actually sounds pretty cool, with parts. If you like carols, I highly recommend the Oxford Book of Carols. It has hundreds of carols, and I've learned many I had never heard or different versions of ones I had heard before. We hold out until Christmas to actually listen to Christmas music, but I guess practicing the carols is sort of cheating--Veni Emmanuel is in of course and we sing it at dinner and prayers every day, so my kids know it inside and out, English and Latin, by the time Christmas Day rolls around. Anyway, then we listen, listen, listen until Feb. 2 because we love it so much.

Rebecca said...

I found something in the Oxford Book of Carols about the Three Ships...

"The one of many variant versions...They derive from the Mediterranean journeyings of the supposed relics of the magi, the "Three Kings of Cologne', the splendour of whose final voyage has remained vivid in European folk memory. The Empress Helena...carried them to Constantinople in the fourth century, from where they were later taken by St. Eustathius to Milan. In 1162 the skulls were gifted to Cologne Cathedral by Friedrich Barbarossa, and Bishop Renaldus brought them there, to rest in the jewelled caskets in which they remain to this day...It is likely that in English versions of the song the voyage to Cologne has fused with the quite different tradition of symbolic ships...

Hope that helps.

I forgot to say, I think my favorite carol is "Down in Yon Forest"; I used to listen to a recording of Joan Baez singing it, and my kids love it too. It's very symbolic and also very simple, with the phrase repeated at the end of each stanza, "I love my Lord Jesus above anything."

eulogos said...

Since O Holy Night is your favorite, let me tell you what I heard at my grandfather's funeral that I had never known. The priest said he sang a solo of Oh Holy Night at midnight mass, every year for 40 years.

My mother left the church at age 17 and never went back. I went a few times when I was staying with my grandparents and was too young to be left home alone. I had no idea what was going on...I must have been at the EF when it was the OF, but the place was so packed and I was so small, I remember little but the bells ringing.

Except the one time I saw kids my age (8, then) going up for communion and I said to my grandmother "Can I do that? " and when she said no, I said "Why,why, why can't I do that, I'm the same age as they are!" I think maybe Jesus heard me. Or else, my grandfather started praying for me from heaven when he died when I was 17. I was baptized (Episcopalian) at 20 and received into the Church at 21.

But I wish I could have heard him sing "Oh Holy Night."

Susan Petereson

Anonymous said...

I used to hear Mahalia Jackson's renditions in my mind as I taught my little boys 'Do you hear what I hear' and 'Go Tell it on the Mountain' and we'd sing in the car.

The tradition at my house is we don't sing 'Silent Night' until Midnight Mass. My husband's favorites (he's not Catholic) are the smooth wintry numbers by Andy Williams, and when he played guitar 'Silver Bells' was a favorite.

In the school band as a kid it seemed we always played the 'Carol of the Bells' and 'Fum, Fum, Fum'.

I'm still waiting for my son to play 'O Holy Night' on the violin as a solo with all the fervor of his French memere, before he puts his violin away altogether. Over the years he's done a lot of fiddle-caroling in nursing homes both in hallways and performance areas.

Aimee said...

Just completed this over at my place. This was fun - thanks!

Esther said...

Mahalo for this meme. I really enjoyed it. I posted my responses at

LarryD said...

I'm a little late to the meme party here, but my answers are listed here.