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First Noel(The) (Christmas)

Traditional words & music, going back to 18th century, in every published collection of carols from early 19th century onwards.

Go Tell It On The Mountain (Christmas)

Traditional American Negro spiritual inspired by Biblical passage from Luke 2:11-"For unto you is born this day a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Christmas)

Authors unknown, traditional British carol with a medieval flavor although its first known publication is 1760. The meaning of the title (and first line) is clarified by the comma, really meaning "God grant you happiness, gentlemen." Directly referenced in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," the animated sound of it driving Scrooge to distraction.

Good King Wenceslas (Christmas)

Music: 13th century spring carol entitled "Tempus adest floridum" ("It is time for flowering"); words by British composer John Mason Neale, 1853. The original Wenceslas lived in 10th century Bohemia(now the Czech Republic) and was later canonized for his many kindnesses and immortalized for the same good deeds in this carol.

Hallelujah Chorus (G.F. Handel) (Christmas)

The "Hallelujah Chorus" from the oratorio "Messiah" (1742) by George Friderich(sic) Handel(1685-1759). Upon first hearing the work, the King of England, so emotionally stirred by what he was hearing,spontaneously stood from his seat, thereby establishing the tradition audiences the world over continue upon hearing the magnificent "Chorus."

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Christmas)

Words by Charles Wesley, 1739, music by Felix Mendelssohn(1809-1847). Wesley was the original leader of the Methodist movement, and the author of 6000 other hymns, including "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today."