124 Silent Night

You may have heard the story of the origin of “Silent Night,” but I may have some info you didn’t know about. Find out about more carols at MyChristmasStocking.net. The phone number is (323) 487-12-25 What IS Christmas to you? We do the social thing–on Facebook, on Twitter (@XmasStocking), Pinterest and Google+.

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Featured music:

“Silent Night” by Shuree from the EP “Christmas Soul Unplugged” (from Noisetrade)

Background music:

“Silent Night” by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)

“Silent Night” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“Silent Night No Percussion Instrumental” by Katey Laurel from the album “This is Christmas”
This version isn’t available to buy, but you can buy her beautiful vocal on iTunes. The whole album is great.

More information:

Find more information about the hymn from the BBC, In Mozart’s Footsteps and Stille Nacht Gesellschaft.

Find many English translations, including the one you probably know, on the Silent Night Web.

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113 I Heard the Christmas Bells

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” comes from an intensely personal poem by America’s poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in the time of the Civil War. Lots more Christmas info and fun on Twitter (@XmasStocking), on Facebook, and Google+. Catch up on all the episodes at MyChristmasStocking.net. Share your Christmas plans and/or traditions on the show at (323) 487-12-25. Or do it by email at TopElf at MyChristmasStocking dot NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Alva Leigh

Background music:

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells”

“I Heard the Bells – Carol of the Bells Medley” by Kevin Zerbe from “The Ghost of Christmas Past”

“The Wassail Song” by Chris Friesen from “I Heard the Bells” (from Noisetrade)

More information:

Wikipedia has a bit about the origin of the song, and more about different popular versions.

The website of The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States has an article with more military details about Longfellow’s son Charles.

99 O Holy Night

You know the beautiful song, but do you know its story? It’s a good one. Join the Christmas Stocking social scene at Google+, Facebook or Twitter (@XmasStocking). I’d love to hear from you, maybe put you on the show. Call the Christmas Stocking at 323-487-12-25 or go to MyChristmasStocking.net and click “Call Me.”

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“O Holy Night”  by Eamonn McCrystal from “The Music of Christmas & Stories Behind The Songs
Buy the album

Background music:

“O Holy Night” by Michael Ryan from “A Classical Guitar Christmas”

“Noel (Holy Night) [1916]” by the Venetian Trio from “Voices of Christmas Past” (from the Free Music Archive)

More information:

Wikipedia‘s editors do their best to tell the story.

Beliefnet relays a similar story.

Hymns and Carols of Christmas takes an alternative view of some details.

98 Dickens Christmas

Charles Dickens is one of the individuals who’s made the biggest impact on how we celebrate Christmas. Call the Christmas Stocking and wish someone Merry Christmas, talk about your favorite childhood Christmas memory or your favorite memory of your kids’ Christmas. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net and either click “Call Me” or dial 323-487-12-25.  At various times throughout the season, I’ll be on the other end answering live. Watch Twitter (@XmasStocking),  Google+ or Facebook.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Ding Dong Merrily on High” and “Rocking” by the Choir of Somerville College, Oxford from the album “Advent Calendar”
Click here to buy on iTunes (UK)
Buy on iTunes (US)
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon (US)
Buy on Stone Records’ site (UK site)

Background music:

“The First Nowell” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” by The Manor House String Quartet from “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Other Carols”
Buy on iTunes
Buy on Amazon.com

“We Three Kings” by Derek K. Miller (from Mevio.com)

More information:

Listen to the related episodes of the Christmas Stocking: 17 Victorian Christmas (from 2007!), 22 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (also from 2007!), 28 Christmas Cards (from 2008!). Finally, listen to a reading of Charles Dickens’s essay in 68 “A Christmas Dinner” by Charles Dickens (from 2011).

There is some disagreement as to whether Dickens did, in fact, invent (or reinvent) Christmas. The Victorian Web makes a case for, as does an article on Patheos.com. This article from the Dickens Project at UC Santa Cruz disagrees.

Ipsum Esse takes a deeper look at “The Carol Philosophy.”

88 Hark! The Herald Merry Gentlemen

Find out about a couple of your favorite carols, plus a modern take on them. Are you curious about any carols? Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET. Lots more holiday music and more at MyChristmasStocking.net. Also find the Christmas Stocking on  Google+, Facebook, and Twitter (@XmasStocking).

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” by Groove for Thought from “Songs of Good Cheer”
Buy from Groove for Thought

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” by Alexis Cole featuring Mark Finkin from “The Greatest Gift”
Buy from Alexis Cole

Background music:

Hark the Herald” by Jason Shaw (from Audionautix.com)

“God Rest You” by Kevin Zerbe

More information:

Wikipedia will tell you about “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” lyricist Charles Wesley and  his collaborator George Whitefield. Also “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen.”

Hear an alternate version of “Hark!” on a previous episode.

78 Manger and Halls

The origin of a couple of carols and some great versions, too! Join us on Twitter.com/XmasStockingFacebook, and Google+.  MyChristmasStocking.net is the main site where you can get in touch and listen to all the episodes.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“Away in a Manger” by Martha’s Trouble from “This Christmas” (ItsAboutMusic.com)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Deck the Halls” by the HoHoHos (aka the Juliettes) from “It’s the HoHoHos”
Buy the album at Bandcamp.com

“Deck the Sheds with Bits of Wattle” by Bucko and Champs from “Vol. 1-2-Aussie Christmas With Bucko & Champs”
Buy the CD at Amazon.com
 Buy at iTunes Music Store

Background music:

“Away In A Manger” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Lounge Jazz” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

“Deck The Halls” by The London Fox Players from “Christmas – Lounge Jazz” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Wikipedia has excellent info on both “Away in a Manger” and “Deck the Hall(s).”

66 Three Ships & Wenceslas

Posted On December 13, 2011

Filed under Christmas, Episode, Holiday, Podcast, Xmas
Tags: , , ,

Comments Dropped leave a response

From Christmas 2011: “I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” are curious carols. Where did they come from? Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net or click Contact Us on MyChristmasStocking.net. You can also listen to episodes there, too. Add the Christmas Stocking to your circles on Google+, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“I Saw Three Ships” and “Good King Wenceslas” by We Three Kings from “The 12 Songs of Christmas”

Background music:

“In Dulce Jubilo” by The Manor House String Quartet from “I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols”

“Bring the Torch, Jeanette Isabella” by Moat Jumper from “Christmas at the Renaissance Fair”
Buy the song at iTunes Music Store 
Buy at Amazon.com

“Good King Wenceslas and His Merry Band”  by US Air Force Airmen of Note from “Christmas Time Is Here”
(Altissimo!)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Get information on “I Saw Three Ships” from hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com and Wikipedia.

Get information on “Good King Wenceslas” from hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com and Wikipedia.

The organization Brian mentioned is Charity Newsies.

64 Caroling, Caroling

From Christmas 2011: By another great suggestion from Emma from the UK on our Facebook page, we track the development of going door to door singing Christmas songs. You can also communicate with us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking (plus get lots of holiday content). And add the Christmas Stocking to your circles on Google+. Email TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.net.  Go to MyChristmasStocking.net for all the episodes and much more.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:

“What Child Is This?” by The London Fox Singers from “Christmas Gospel Choir” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Edwin Hubbard, Prana from “Christmas Songs” (LocoBop)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Renaissance Dances” by The Revels Early Music Band and Parlor Ensemble, The Christmas Revels from “Welcome Yule – An English Christmas Revels” (Revels Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Deck The Halls (Instrumental)” by Christmas Karaoke from “Happy Holiday – Christmas Karaoke” (Rock River Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“I’ll be Home For Christmas” by Tony Evans & His Orchestra from “I Love Christmas” (Tema International)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


More information:

Time magazine discusses the history of caroling. About.com looks at the history of carols.

Wikipedia has a couple of good articles on carols, Christmas carols and a good article about wassailing.

42 Handel’s “Messiah”

From Christmas 2009: This one is for you, Mom! Find out some background on “Messiah” by Handel, and listen to a couple of snippets, including the Hallelujah Chorus. You can be on the Christmas Stocking. Go to MyChristmasStocking.net, click the Call Me button and enter your phone number. My voicemail will call you for free; and you can mark your number private. Join us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.com/XmasStocking. And Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Featured music:
“For Unto Us A Child Is Born (from Messiah by G.F. Handel)” by  Oregon Bach Festival Choir & Orchestra from “The Life Of Christ: The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus in music” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Hallelujah Chorus” by The Choir & Orchestra of Pro Christe from “Christmas Traditions-20 Treasured Songs of the Season Performed in Classic Styles” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Background music:

“Sinfonia (from Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 by J.S. Bach)” by Bach-Collegium Stuttgart from “The Life Of Christ: The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus in music” (Classic Fox Records)
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album


“Snowfall” by Michael Allen Harrison from “Snowfall” (MAH Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

More information:

Not surprisingly, GFHandel.org has a nice overview of the creation of “Messiah.”

Also not surprisingly, Wikipedia does, as well.

11 Three Kings Day

From Epiphany ’07: Our look at the happiest time of year comes to an end with Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. Listen to find out ways many people finish out the Christmas season. And please keep your subscription open for future projects. Thanks for all the downloads, and make sure you come back next year! MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“We Three Kings/Deck the Halls” by Christmas Classical Music (from GarageBand.com)

“We Three Kings” by Steven Belong (from SoundClick.com)

Featured song:

We Three Kings” by Stephen Bashaw (I found it at feelslikechristmas.com)

For more on Epiphany/Three Kings Day:

Wikipedia goes in-depth, as usual.

The CRI/Voice website has some good information.

El Boricua gives a Puerto Rican perspective on Los Reyes Magos.


9 Christmas Shopping

From Christmas ’06: Plenty of music this time. And perhaps the craziest part of the Christmas season is the shopping. How long have we been doing it and how much of it will we be doing it are questions answered on the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET .

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“Carol of the Bells” by Jennifer Haines I found it on Music.Download.com (now last.fm)

“Good King Wenceslas” by Karl Frederick Grossman (from GarageBand.com)

Featured songs:

“Joy to the World” and “Coventry Carol” by the Joy to the World!! Christmas Quartet (from GarageBand.com)

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir

8 A Middle Ages Christmas

From Christmas ’06: How was a Middle Ages Christmas different? For one thing, no one got an iPod. Find out how they celebrated way back when on this edition of the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“What Child is This” by Stephen Bashaw. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

“Jingle Bells” by The R&R Project (from GarageBand.com)

Featured songs:

“A Pirate’s 12 Days of Christmas” by Gastronomical Unit (from GarageBand.com)

7 Christmas in Asia

From Christmas ’06: All kinds of people celebrate Christmas all over the world! We travel around Asia in this edition of the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“Oh Holy Night” by Chris Goddard (from “An Acoustic Christmas with Chris Goddard”)Milomix Productions

Featured songs:

“Christmas Stocking 1969” by Heather Sullivan (from GarageBand.com)

For more about Christmas in Asia:

An article from the Christian Science Monitor.

Info about east Asia.

Info about south Asia.

Wikipedia looks at Christmas in Asia. And Christmas customs in the Philippines.

And a bit more about the Philippines.

6 The Holly and the Ivy

From Christmas ’06: Sure, holly and ivy are pretty, but what do they mean? We look at that and mistletoe and poinsettias, too, in this edition of the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“Pat-a-Pan” by the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir (from Columbia, South Carolina, music from GarageBand.com)

“Silent Night” by Michael Silvestri (from the album “Christmas In New England – Guitar Celebrations For The Holidays”, on ItsAboutMusic.com)

Featured songs:

“The Holly and the Ivy” and “Carol of the Bells” by the St. Joseph Catholic Church Choir

5 The Feast of the Nativity (Early Christmas)

From Christmas ’06: Christmas has not always been a shopping fest. When did people start celebrating the birth of Christ in December (or so)? Why this time of year? Find out in the Christmas Stocking.MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

“The First Noel” by Linda Gentille from “A Gentille Christmas”
SnailWorx

Featured songs:

“E-mail From Nigeria” by Dr. Elmo from “Hip Hopped Grandma”
Laughing Stock

“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Dr. Elmo
from “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
Laughing Stock

The History Channel website has a lot of great Christmas information.

You can find out a lot at Wikipedia.org, too.

4 O Rockefeller Christmas Tree

From Christmas ’06: A really big tree, and the one the world thinks of when they think of America’s Christmas Tree. How long have they been putting up a tree? The answer, and a really great Christmas original on the Christmas Stocking. MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“O Christmas Tree” by Robb McCormick (from Soundclick.com) (here’s his myspace page)

“The First Noel” by Marti van Lin

Featured song:

“Cool, Cool Christmas” by Dean Krippaehne (from GarageBand.com) (and Dean’s myspace page….)

If you want to learn more about Rockefeller Center and its Christmas tree, the Rockefeller Center website has a lot of stuff.

3 O, Christmas Tree

From Christmas ’06: The centerpiece of holiday decorating is the Christmas tree. Why do we bring a tree inside the house and put pretty baubles on it? Where did that tradition come from? We’ll answer those questions and more on the Christmas Stocking. Comment atMyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music includes:

“Deck the Halls” by Technohazard (from GarageBand.com)

“O Christmas Tree,” one of Patricia’s Christmas Carols (from Soundclick.com)

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by John Morgan, available on a CD of Christmas music. I found it at  feelslikechristmas.com

Featured song:

“Holy Night” by Sandra Mooy

If you want to learn more about Christmas trees:

The National Christmas Tree Association has a lot of information, including tree maintenance.

Wikipedia has a decent history, too, although it has a lot of opinions sprinkled in the information.

1 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

From Christmas ’06: Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade really sets the tone. Find out where Thanksgiving Day Parades started and relive the history of the big one–Macy’s in New York. Also enjoy some great holiday music! Comment at MyChristmasStocking.net. Email: TopElf at MyChristmasStocking.NET.

Click here to download the show to your device.

Background music:

1) Deck the Halls by John Morgan, available on a CD of holiday music. I found it at feelslikechristmas.com

2) Birth to the Savior by Rejoice (from GarageBand.com)

Featured song:

The Santa Claus Rock by Howard Pearlman