Walk into any mall during the holiday season, and you’ll hear the same carols over and over – Jingle Bells, Silent Night, Joy to the World, and the like – and they’re all lovely carols, but when you hear them repeatedly, often at ear-splitting levels, I find myself wanting to hear anything but the standards, and at a quieter volume. Am I alone in this?
If you have a favourite, but lesser-known carol, or something from your cultural background not known to Canadians, please let me know what it is! I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Here’s a list of seven lesser-known Christmas carols:
“Nowell Sing We” Anonymous
The Primavera Singers of the New York Pro Music Antiqua
Rejoice, Rejoice: Nowell: Dieus vous garde Anonymous
The Boston Camerata
“Once in Royal David’s City” by Cecil Frances Alexander
The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
“Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” by Michael Praetorius
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
“The Shepherds’ Farewell”, by Hector Berlioz with words by Paul England
“The Gower Wassail”, by Canadian composer Robert Frederick Jones.
The Stairwell Carollers from Ottawa (I love the name of this choir. Whenever choristers at school need to rehearse, they often retreated to the stairwell where the acoustics were nice and church-like.)