Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (September 25, 2006)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 5.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #504,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #437 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Holidays > Christmas #1635 in Books > Arts & Photography > Music > History & Criticism #109311 in Books > Religion & Spirituality
I really enjoy learning the history behind things, and this book includes not just details about how these songs came into being, but history on the holiday itself, and how it was shaped into what we know today. The songs include old-standbys from Handel's Messiah to We Wish You a Merry Christmas, to contemporary hits like The Christmas Shoes, all profiled in more detail than I expected, and always including reminders of the true meaning of the season. The main gripes I had were that the Table of Contents doesn't seem to be recognized as such in the Kindle version (at the time of this review), so you can't jump directly to it. And the lyrics of many of the songs (recent ones mainly) are not always included...due to copyright license but still kind of disappointing that no more than a couple lines of some of them were included with the story. Some of the songs are fairly obscure, and some stories were stretched to encompass multiple songs (notably three songs by Albert Burt included). Overall though, I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it for all lovers of Christmas carols.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to read the stories behind many of our best-loved carols and popular Christmas songs. The author recites his stories with a Christian perspective, but I feel that this enhances the stories rather than detracts from them.I feel it has deepened my understanding and appreciation of Christmas and revealed to me, the contributions of the men and women behind this music.How each one of them added something special and unique to our celebrations of Christmas.
I loved reading this book! The songs covered range from the classic Hallelujah Chorus to Here Comes Santa Claus. There were songs included that I had never heard of but, thanks to the internet, was able to find and listen to. For all the songs (even the secular ones) the author has managed to show the true meaning of Christmas. I downloaded this book in January 2011 and the Table of Contents did work on my Kindle.The songs included are:Handel's Hallelujah Chorus Â· Christmas Shoes Â· Let There Be Peace on Earth Â· Santa Claus is Coming to Town Â· O Christmas Tree Â· Thank God for Kids Â· We Wish You a Merry Christmas Â· Merry Christmas, Darling Â· Sweet Little Jesus Boy Â· Some Children See Him Â· Caroling, Caroling Â· The Star Carol Â· Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus Â· It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Â· The Coventry Carol Â· Here Comes Santa Claus Â· The Wassail Song Â· If Every Day Was Like Christmas Â· While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night Â· It Wasn't His Child Â· Pretty Paper Â· Ave Maria Â· Christmas in the Country Â· Come and See What's Happening in the Barn Â· Carol of the Bells Â· Little Drummer Boy Â· I Saw Three Ships Â· We Need a Little Christmas Â· Blue Christmas Â· C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Â· Auld Lang Syne/Christmas Auld Lang Syne
Ace Collins does it again! In the same style as Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas (Stories Behind Books), Collins explores the origins of even more of our favorite Christmas songs. Collins is incredibly entertaining and informative in his style - he's easy to read, presenting engaging stories even as he gives his own insight and inspiration.As a pastor, I've used several of Collins' books now to help flesh out sermons during Christmastime, and I highly recommend them as an excellent addition to your Christmas book collection!
So many inaccuracies, suppositions and personal projections that it's maddening. Badly researched.. here's an example: He says that "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" (which isn't even the song's correct title btw) was recorded after Perry Como heard it in the musical "Here's Love". Como recorded it in '51. Here's Love debuted on Broadway over a decade later and Wilson incorporated it into the show. Shoddy work for a series that enjoys far too much scholarly credit to justify it's lazy and agenda-driven nonsense. If you need the real stories behind christmas carols for any kind of scholarly work don't EVER rely on this as a primary source.
This has been unread on my Kindle for a couple of years... what a mistake!Each chapter tells the history of a Christmas song. I should have read a chapter a day during Advent.The stories are heartwarming and would have gotten me in the Christmas spirit.It is well-written and edited. However, a few lonely letters crept in here and there. A random T, etc. but it didn't detract from the reading.I highly recommend this book for those who love Christmas music and want to know a little more.
I discovered this book while doing research on the Alfred Burt Carols. Some of the information about the Burt carols I had already found during my research, but I appreciated having details about the three most famous carols (“The Star Carol”, “Caroling, Caroling”, and “Some Children See Him”) in one place. I also learned a few details that I hadn’t gleaned from my other research.Since I love Christmas music of all sorts, I was familiar with many of the songs referenced in this book and continued to read the entries for most of the other songs, as well. I very much enjoyed the stories and learning about how these familiar melodies and lyrics came into being.Although I enjoyed the book, I didn't give it five stars, because in my opinion it has a couple of flaws. The first is that the author puts a christian spin on every song he referenced. Many of the songs are secular and to put this spin on those required some odd “logic”. This contrived logic not only made me enjoy the stories less, it made me doubt the veracity of all of the stories.Secondly, I felt that the lyrics to every song should have been included. In several cases, the lyrics were referenced, but not printed. Of course I could have looked up the lyrics myself, but not having the lyrics within the text made the book feel incomplete to me. Including all of the lyrics would have been straightforward for the author and having them readily available would have made my reading experience richer.If you love Christmas music as much as I do, I recommend this book for learning the history of some of your favorite songs. While I imagine there might be better sources of information, the book is a pleasant way to experience well-known Christmas music from a new angle.
More Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas 50 Best Loved Christmas Stories and Poems for All Ages (Cambridge World Classics Edition) (Christmas Books Classic Literature Book 1) Play A Song Of Christmas - 35 Favorite Christmas Songs and Carols In Easy Arrangements (CD-Rom: includes piano accompaniment, lyrics and pritable PDF of piano sheet music) Jamaican Christmas Recipes: 21 Most Wanted Jamaican Christmas Recipes (Christmas Recipes Book) Christmas Recipes - Top 200 Christmas Recipes (25 Vegan, 25 Paleo, 25 Gluten Free, 25 Low Carb and 100 Traditional Recipes, Christmas Cookbook) A Victorian Christmas Tea: Angel in the Attic/A Daddy for Christmas/Tea for Marie/Going Home (HeartQuest Christmas Anthology) Christmas Homecoming: The Heart of a Stranger/A Place to Call Home/Christmas Legacy (HeartQuest Christmas Anthology) Madness in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery (Christmas River Cozy, Book 3) Murder in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery (Christmas River Cozy, Book 1) Ouija Board Stories: Chilling True Horror Stories Of Ouija Boards Gone Wrong (Ouija Board Stories, Ghost Stories, True Horror Stories, Ouija Board Nightmares, Haunted Places Book 1) The Complete Beatles Songs: The Stories Behind Every Track Written by the Fab Four The Best of Ed Zern: Fifty Years of Fishing and Hunting from One of America's Best-Loved Outdoor Humorists The Best Christmas Songs Ever Christmas Treasures: A Collection of Christmas Short Stories Bizarre True Stories: Weird And Unusual True Stories Of The Paranormal, Strange Sightings, Eerie True Ghost Stories And Unexplained Phenomena (True Paranormal ... True Ghost Stories And Hauntings) Ghost Stories: Petrifying True Ghost Stories Of The Undead And Their Supernatural Tales (Ghost Stories, True Ghost Stories, Conspiracy Theories, True Ghost ... And Hauntings, Haunted Asylums, Book 1) True Ghost Stories And Hauntings: Horrifying True Paranormal Hauntings From The Last 300 Years: Creepy True Ghost Stories And Accounts (True Ghost Stories, True Paranormal, Bizarre True Stories) Law of Attraction: Unleash The Secret Power Within and Learn How To Manifest More Money, More Love, More Success, More Abundance In No TIme: (Special Bonus: ... Money, Success, Happiness & Love,) Hollywood Babylon Strikes Again!: More Exhibitions! More Sex! More Sin! More Scandals Unfit to Print (Blood Moon's Babylon) Behind the Secrets (Behind the Lives Book 4)