Christmas Carols: The Good, The Bad, and the Festive
By Jeff Ayers — / Death Wish Coffee Blog
A few years ago on our Fueled By Death Show, Jeff and Dustin broke down the history, origins, and traditions surrounding the songs of the season—Christmas carols. (You can watch the full video below)
(Photo by Digital Vision)
It all started because in 2018 the song, "Baby It's Cold Outside" made the news—people wanted the song to be banned. Not a new idea, yet at the height of the growing #MeToo movement the problematic nature of the song was brought into light once again.
The song was written in 1944 by songwriter Frank Loesser as a fun party song for his wife and their friends. However, throughout the years the song has been vilified because of the lyrics that could be interpreted as promoting rape culture. In 2018 there were calls made to a radio station in Cleveland to have the song pulled, but then many more calls came in to have the song put back into rotation!
Anyway, that got us thinking about Christmas carols in general so here are some fun facts we uncovered:
The holiday of Christmas borrows a lot of its traditions from the early Pagan celebrations surrounding the Winter Solstice. Singing songs around the seasonal gatherings were adopted by the Christian church, and many of those early carols were religious in nature.
First Ever Carol
The first known Christmas carol was written in 1410 and was about Mary and Jesus meeting different people around Bethlehem. Only a fragment of this song remains in tact today.
Publishing Songs For Fame
Thanks to William Sandys and David Gilbert we still know many of the older Christmas carols today. They published "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern" in 1833 and the book was a success. It was the first time in print for songs like "The First Noel" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."
Pop Goes Christmas
Well many of the more widely known Christmas carols are a few centuries old at this point, there have been a few songwriters that have made their mark on the holiday season. This includes "Last Christmas" by the group Wham! and the immensely popular "All I Want For Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey.
What are your favorite Christmas carols?
Watch the video from Fueled By Death Cast: