Jeremy Summerly tells the story of the Christmas Carol in England in these illuminating and delightful programmes.
The Christmas carol is as popular now as it was when singers celebrated the birth of Edward III in 1312. But the journey it has taken is unique in music history. Here Jeremy Summerly follows that journey from medieval times to the present day. It's a story that sees the carol veer between the sacred and secular, in a tradition that has always had one foot in the pub and another in the church.
The carol is an expression of seasonal joy in the coldest, hardest time of the year. However inefficient the heating system may be, the carol still generates warmth and positive nostalgia. Many favourite carols were actually written for children to sing, including "Once in Royal David's City". It famously leads off the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service broadcast by the BBC from King’s College, Cambridge since the 1920s, commanding a worldwide audience of several million. But has it left an imbalance in the appreciation of our caroling tradition? And why do carols remain popular and familiar to so many?
Illustrated with examples of carols obscure and familiar through the ages, and taking in numerous locations around Britain along the way, this is a history of the carol to bring comfort and joy.
Jeremy Summerly did a ten part program on BBC radio on the history of the English carols and how they've evolved. They released an audiobook on Audible compiling the episodes. The history runs from the earliest medieval carols to the height of Victorian carols to our present day. I was fascinated by how international caroling has become with songs and traditions brought over from other countries. I enjoyed the story of "Nine Lessons and Carols" and how it became a BBC fixture, even during wartime.
wonderful history of English Christmas carol from the point of view of a chorister, Delve into the early carols of England and wraps up with the Nine Lessons and Carols in Cambridge. I found the ending of the interviews very interesting.
This is not an audio book per say but a radio show from the BBC
If interested in Christmas carols this is the story for you.