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The Truth About Christmas Carols

2008, History  -   10 Comments

The Truth About Christmas CarolsThere could be nothing more sweet and sentimental than the sound of traditional carols performed by a velvet-voiced choir at Christmas.

Or so you would think. Composer Howard Goodall uncovers the surprising and often secret history of the Christmas carol.

Far from being accepted as part of the celebrations of Jesus' birth, over the centuries carols have been banned by both church and state.

The carols we sing seem set in stone and yet they can have up to 400 regional variations. Individual carols have caused controversy - While Shepherds Watched had to be cleaned up by the Victorians for being too crude and there's a suspicion that O Come All Ye Faithful was a call to 18th century Jacobites to rebel.

The documentary celebrates the enduring power of the carol with a variety of performances from folk singer Bella Hardy to the choir of Truro Cathedral.

Ratings: 6.33/10from 9 users.

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10 Comments / User Reviews

  1. blahblahbob

    not the best or worst doc on this site, but you def. need to be fascinated with early Britt societies to fully enjoy i think... all and all i liked it.

  2. Savage Henry

    I think this documentary is fantastic...informative and interesting! Thanks Vlatko! God bless the BBC...we have PBS in NPR, but they're weak as forces go and on the annual chopping block for our right wing element. The Brits are much more impressive in this regard. So, thanks to them!

    1. blahblahbob

      doesnt it make you sad that there is so much more culture infused programming on foreign tv, yet in the u.s. all you can count on are constant lohan and hilton updates? what the hell happened to our country? i love the u.s. but i can see pretty clearly why the rest of the world has such a negative image of us.

  3. David T

    The Truth about Religion: is to make Money.

  4. CherryBombpop

    Interesting! Plus chemtrails at 16:32 :P

    1. Michael Ramey

      They're everywhere....

  5. An Oldfool

    Certainly an area I knew nothing about, and this nicely produced piece has furthered by education..time well spent

  6. earthfile

    I enjoyed it

  7. wald0


    1. Sad_Panda_99