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Christmas Music: Reexamined

Christmas music

It is January 1st. You just finished a long day of school and are ready to get into your car and drive home. After getting into your ride, you reach to turn on the radio. Suddenly, you realize that it is that time of year again, Christmas time. The radio is monopolized by the ringing of bells and angelic children choirs singing along to the classics, such as “Jingle Bells”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. Have you ever wondered where these songs came from? Let’s dive into the history behind these seasonal classics.

Prior to the first Christmas Carol in the 13th century, Christmas hymns came into being during the 4th century in Rome. Although Christmas music has been around for thousands of years, it has endured many obstacles; such as the English Puritan prohibition in 1647, that stated that the singing of Christmas songs was sinful and wrong. In 1660, Charles II restored the royal line and allowed England to sing Christmas carols yet again. Later in the Victorian Era, there was a proliferation of Christmas music. Ever since the societal excitement for Christmas music that was created in the the Victorian Era, Christmas music has gained popularity.

Today, we listen to an amalgamation of classic Christmas carols and new Christmas hit pop songs. During the Christmas season, we are constantly surrounded by a songs of the distant past and songs of the present. So the next time you turn on your radio and hear a Christmas classic, ponder over the ability of one genre of music to connect generations of the past to generations of the present and the future.

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Emma Lembke is a student at the Altamont School and a member of the Springboaders teen leadership group of GirlSpring.

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