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The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Carols

A carol is a religious song or hymn, normally about the birth of Jesus, sung at Christmastime. Carols are thought to date back as early as the 4th Century – but which carols do we like to sing along with in the UK?

In a poll by Classic FM, these festive hymns took the top five spots in the nation’s hearts…

5. O Come All Ye Faithful

Originally in Latin, the author of the hymn is unknown though the song is linked to a number of possible authors. Made up of four verses, the hymn has been translated into a number of different languages and is sung all around the world. 
 

4. In The Bleak Midwinter

This hymn started life as an 1872 poem by Christina Rossetti, though it only became a hymn after her death when it was published in a hymn book in 1904.
 

3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The original version of this hymn was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley and differed somewhat from the carol we sing today both in its words and music. Now, the carol is a faster and more upbeat version of the original.
 

2. O Holy Night

Composed as a carol in 1847, this festive hymn was originally written as a French poem five years earlier, as part of a celebration of a renovated church organ. The carol was then translated into English in 1855.     
                                                                                                                                             

1.Silent Night    

Written and composed in Austria in the early 1800s originally as “Stille Nacht” and translated into English around 40 years later. It was sung by soldiers on both sides during the Christmas Day ceasefires in the First World War, as the tune remains the same despite the translation.
 

If we’ve got you wanting to warm up the old vocal chords and get in the festive spirit, then come along to our many carol events in Durham over the coming weeks. From our Advent Procession with Carols on the 28th November to Carol Singing by local choirs across Durham every weekend in December – there’s a song in the city for everyone to enjoy.

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