Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Although hearing the melody of this 18th century English carol automatically inspires Yuletide thoughts, the lyrics make no mention of the manger, the town of Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph, the ox and ass, the angels, the wise men, the shepherds, or the star. In fact, the carol never actually mentions the birth of Christ, only his coming.
2. This beloved Christmas hymn was originally in Latin, though it is usually sung in an English translation. It dates from the 18th century and a variation of the melody was once used in a French comic opera. It is nearly always used as the entrance hymn at Christmas services and masses.
3. It grieves me to disprove a charming and well-loved Christmas story, but there was actually nothing wrong with the organ of the parish church of Obendorf, Austria, on the Christmas Eve of 1818 when this beloved carol was hastily composed. The singing of a folk-like song with guitar accompaniment was a long-standing tradition. Which carol am I talking about?
4. The text of this majestic carol was written by Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley (the founder of Methodism). The melody to which it is nearly always sung is by the great German composer Felix Mendelssohn, who originally wrote the tune as part of a piece d'occasion commemorating the anniversary of the invention of the printing press.
5. This carol originated among American Lutherans in the late nineteenth century and has frequently (and incorrectly) been called "Luther's Cradle Hymn". Ironically, this misattribution to Luther seems to have originated with the carol's creators. It is believed to have begun as a recited poem from a Christmas play (presented by a Lutheran church group) to which music was later added. Which is it?
6. This carol is actually a French operatic-style concert aria whose original title was "Cantique du Noel". Its composer was of the Jewish faith and is best known (apart from this piece) for having written the score of the ballet "Giselle". The lyricist created a scandal later in life by embracing socialism, which (along with the revelation that the composer was Jewish) caused the piece to be condemned by the archbishop of Paris.
7. The melody of this carol dates from the latter half of the 16th century and is one of the most beloved English folk ballads. It has sometimes been (wrongly) attributed to Henry VIII and is mentioned in Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor".
8. The lyrics of this carol are by the 19th century American Unitarian minister Edmund Sears. In America, it is sung to a melody by organist Richard Storrs Willis; in England, they use a tune composed by Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame). The carol's lyrics speaks of mankind's unwillingness to heed the angel's message of peace and goodwill; ironically, it was penned only ten years before the outbreak of the Civil War.
9. This Christmas hymn began as a poem written by Lewis Redner, rector of Holy Trinity church in Philadelphia in 1868. It was inspired by a visit to the Holy Land three years earlier, during which Redner had made a pilgrimage to the field of the Annunciation to the Shepherds. Redner asked Phillips Brooks, a composer friend of his, to set it to music. When, by Christmas Eve, Brooks had failed to come up with a suitable melody, he fell into an exhausted slumber and conceived the tune in a dream. Which of these carols boasts this romantic provenance?
10. This quintessentially English carol is set to a tune entitled "Chestnut", of which there are several versions. It is the only Christmas carol mentioned by name in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"; a small boy begins to sing it at Scrooge's window, but flees when the old miser seizes a ruler and rises from his desk. It is sung throughout England to a number of different tunes and there are numerous variations of both the text and the traditional melody. Which is it?
11. Both words and music to this well-known carol were written by Pennsylvania clergyman John Henry Hopkins, rector of Christ's Church in Williamsport, as part of an 1865 collection simply titled "Hymns, Carols, and Songs". It was originally scored for three male voices, organ (or piano), and four-part chorus for the refrain. Although often sung at Christmas, it is more appropriate for the feast of the Epiphany.
12. This carol is of French origin and is famous for the florid melody of the refrain, the text of which is in Latin.
13. The melody of this well-known English carol is believed to be a fragment of a much longer tune, which may account for its somewhat repetitious character.
14. This well known and beloved carol for the season of Advent is of French origin and originally had a Latin text. The melody is similar to Gregorian chant.
15. This English Christmas hymn dates from the very early 18th century; The text is by the poet-laureate Nahum Tate. In England, it is usually sung to a melody by the Tudor-era composer Christopher Tye; in America, the most common tune is an adaption of an aria from one of George Friederich Handel's operas.
16. This whimsical carol began as a folk ballad commemorating the transfer of the relics of the three Wise Men to the cathedral of Cologne. Eventually, in the song's lyrics, the Wise Men, or rather their "crawns" (or skulls) evolved into the members of the Holy Family.
17. Which of these is NOT an African-American spiritual, but rather an (alleged) Appalachian folk song from North Carolina?
18. This carol was written in 1941 by the American composer Katherine K. Davis, though it has sometimes been listed as a traditional Czech carol. It describes a humble gift given to the Christ Child out of great love and became extremely popular when recorded in 1957.
19. Although often sung at Christmastime, this English carol is actually for Boxing Day (December 26th) when acts of charity, such as the one described in the song, were traditionally performed. The melody of this ballad was originally from a spring carol with a Latin text, entitled "Tempus Adest Floridum" ("The Time of Flowers has Come"); the English Yuletide text was written in the 19th century.
20. This carol originated in Germany around the 15th century. It uses the imagery of nature to describe Christ springing as a flower (or branch) from the rod of Jesse during the cold of winter, according to the prophecy of Isaiah. The melody has been arranged by many composers, but is usually performed in the setting by the German 16th century composer Michael Praetorious.
Source: Author jouen58
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