In The Bleak Midwinter
This is Nick's favourite carol. He remembers his brother singing it years ago and as his brother is no longer with us he is reminded of his brother every time he hears it. It was written by Christina Rossetti before 1872 as a poem and later music was composed by Gustav Holst to turn it into one of the most poignant and beautiful carols we have today.
Once In Royal David's City
Once In Royal David's City was also originally a poem written by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander. Cecil wrote about 400 hymns during her lifetime and was the wife of Archbishop William Alexander who was the Anglican primate for Ireland. She's probably most famous for one of our childhood favourites All Creatures Great and Small.
Silent Night was written in 1818 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be repaired in time for Christmas Day. Saddened, he sat down to write three stanzas that could be sung by choir to guitar music. Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht was heard for the first time at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria. Today, Silent Night is sung in more than 180 languages by millions of people.