Christmas Carols in the 1840s

Though the tradition of caroling is old, many of the Christmas carols we sing today did not exist in the late 1840s, when some of my historical novels took place. Those that were sung in this time period (with their year of origin) included Angels from the Realms of Glory (1816), Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabelle or Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle (1553), Deck the Halls (1500s), The First Noel (1600, possibly earlier), God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1833), Good Christian Men Rejoice (1837), The Holly and the Ivy (1600, possibly earlier), Joy to the World (1839), O Christmas Tree (1824), O Come All Ye Faithful or Adeste Fideles (1200s), O Come, O Come Emmanuel (1100s), Sing We Now of Christmas or Noël Nouvelet (1400s), Twelve Days of Christmas (1780), We Wish You a Merry Christmas (1500s), and While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (1700).

But imagine caroling without the following songs: Angels We Have Heard on High (1862), Good King Wenceslas (1853), Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (1855), Jingle Bells (1857), Silent Night (1859), We Three Kings (1863), and What Child Is This? (1865).

Do you enjoy caroling? Or do you prefer listening to Christmas music inside by your fireplace?


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