Songs of Christmas – Day 7

Today’s song involves a history lesson. No doubt you’ve heard Carol of the Bells, but what you might not be aware of is that the melody was originally a Ukrainian folk song that had nothing to do with Christmas.

A 2004 press release from Rice University explains that Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich was asked by a choir direction to write a Christmas song based on Ukrainian folk music. So he created a new version of his earlier song: Shchedryk.

According to the Hymns and Carols website lyrics were added in 1936 about Christmas bells, but it wasn’t until 1972 that lyrics were introduced that referred to the birth of Christ.

Carol of the Bells (Ukrainian Bell Carol)

Hark! to the bells. Hark! to the bells,
Telling us all Jesus is King!
Strongly they chime, sound with a rhyme.
Christmas is here! Welcome the King.
Hark to the bells, Hark to the bells.
This is the day, day of the King.
Peal out the news o’er hill and dale
And round the town telling the tale.
Hark! to the bells. Hark! to the bells,
Telling us all Jesus is King.
Come, one and all, happily sing.
Songs of good will, O let them sing!
Ring….silv’ry bells.
Sing…..joyous bells!
Strongly they chime, sound with a rhyme
Christmas is here, welcome the King!
Hark! to the bells. Hark! to the bells,
Telling us all, Jesus is King!
Ring! Ring….Bells.

Although it is instrumental, my favorite version is part of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Night in Sarajevo medley. (I’m a big TSO fan)

About Julia

Here's what you might like to know about me. My name is Julia and I'm a Christian. I love the Bible and, much less importantly, a good steak. My goal with this site is to share the truth of scripture with believer and non-believer alike, and to specifically encourage believers to study and know the Bible, and warn them of false teachings in and around the church. Romans 1:16-17 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith."
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