Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Carols: Part One

    I love Christmas carols! I recently saw a giveaway where you had to submit your favorite carol to enter. Needless to say, I settled on three and submitted all of them! 
    Most people don't know the history behind carols, so I am going to do a series of posts on the stories behind the songs. I'll be focusing mostly on the little-known carols. Today's carol is:

Good King Wenceslas

    In my mind, this song does not directly pertain to Jesus or His birth, which is, of course, the reason for the season. However, it portrays the heart of true Christianity - aiding those who need our help and demonstrating the love of Jesus in a practical way.

    Below is a fun version of the song, sung by Irishmen with very Irish accents! The background pictures portraying the tale are from old children's storybooks.

"Good King Wenceslas" is a popular Christmas carol that tells a story of Good King Wenceslas braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (the second day of Christmas, December 26). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by following the king's footprints, step for step, through the deep snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia

In 1853, English hymnwriter John Mason Neale wrote the "Wenceslas" lyrics, in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore, and the carol first appeared in Carols for Christmas-Tide, 1853. Neales' lyrics were set to a tune based on a 13th century spring carol "Tempus adest floridum" ("The time is near for flowering") first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones."

~Courtesy of Wikipedia~

So demonstrate your love for Jesus this Christmas season! Who do you know that you can bless?



  1. I don't do Christmas, but I love Good King Wenceslas!
    I can play it on the piano. :D

  2. It's a neat idea to go into the histories like this! This was interesting; I like "Good King Wenceslas," too. (Though I don't do Christmas, either, I love most carols.) I really enjoyed the recording! What three carols did you submit, Alicia?

    1. Kelsey: I honestly cannot remember! I think they were O Come, O Come Emmanuel, O Holy Night, and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.

      Kelsey and Essie: Perhaps I should clarify that I do not do the world's version of Christmas either. We don't have a tree and we do presents on a different day. However, I love to celebrate the birth of Christ and I love the witnessing opportunities this season always affords. And, of course, I love the joy of the season. :)

    2. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is my absolute favorite!
      That's a bit like how my family feels. We love to honor His coming but don't like what the world does this time of year. So many Christmas carols are like hymns, aren't they?

  3. Wow!! I never knew all that about Good King Wenceslas. I love that carol!!! I also love pronouncing his name! Hehe!! That arrangment was very well done!! I really liked it!! Thanks so much for that history lesson Alicia!! Hope to see you soon!!


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