Fun Facts about Christmas Songs

Some of us love Christmas songs, some of us hate them. Some Christmas songs are great, some are terrible. What can’t be argued, though, is that there are plenty of fun and interesting facts about these festive tunes.

Here are some of the fun facts about Christmas songs that we've learned:

Silent Night 

In 1818, a Christmas Eve church ceremony was due to take place in the small Austrian village of Oberndorf. A big problem occurred though – the church organ was broken, and a last minute plan was needed! Josef Mohr approached his friend and composer, Franz Gruber, who presented a poem he had written 2 years earlier called “Stille Nacht”. Gruber quickly set the poem with music, and on Christmas Eve, the song made its first public appearance. Mohr played the guitar, the pair sung the song, and local Church goers received the church ceremony they had hoped for.

Listen to Silent Night, sung by Frank Sinatra

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Most people who sing this classic song associate “five golden rings” with jewelry. This is incorrect though – golden rings actually refer to ring necked birds. Pass this message on – let’s spread the truth!

Listen to The Twelve Days of Christmas

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

Here is a more modern fact for you! In 2006, this hit became the first song to receive RIAA gold certification for more than 500,000 ringtone sales. Yes, you read that correctly. At one point in time, "All I want For Christmas Is You" was officially the most popular ringtone in the world!

Listen to All I want For Christmas Is You, sung by Mariah Carey

White Christmas

Here at Kaplan, we are a modest bunch. Sometimes confidence is to be admired though, with Irving Berlin really pushing the boundaries! After Berlin wrote "White Christmas" in his head, he said to his secretary, “Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written — heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!”. One or two people may agree with you, Irving!

Listen to White Christmas, sung by Bing Crosby

Merry Christmas Everyone

After a night of drinking at a local pub, Noddy Holder and his co-writer Jimmy Lea, decided that the song “My Rocking Chair” needed more of a Christmas feel. They camped at Noddy’s mother’s house, incorporated parts of another song they were writing, and added aspects of the Christmas holiday season. "Merry Christmas Everyone" is essentially a mashup!

Listen to Merry Christmas Everyone, sung by Slade

The next time you’re singing along to one of these songs, or reading the lyrics to try and improve your English, remember these facts!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Did you see any challenging words in the above blog post? Learn their meanings below!

Festive: to be joyful and happy, often related to the celebration of Christmas
Ceremony: events that take place as part of a special occasion, including weddings, graduations and religious acts
Certification: to make something or someone official. For example, receiving certification for a level of English
Incorporated: to unify, join or combine into one

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