Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas

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December, 2005 | Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas. The history of 31 Christmas songs are profiled in Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas," by Ace Collins.

Each song receives three to six pages of attention in his book. The lyrics to most of the songs are included in the 31 chapters. We learn that the opening lyric in "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," written for Judy Garland's first mature role in the 1944 movie "Meet Me In St. Louis."

"Have yourself a merry little Christmas; it may be your last; next year we will be living in the past..." was rejected as too negative by the diva, and changed at her request by the songwriters to: "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light; from now on our troubles will be out of sight."

Collins points out that another World War II era song, 1942's "I'll Be Home For Christmas," sounds more like a letter home than a typical Christmas carol. He tells us that the song was originally embraced as a prayer during the darkest days of World War II by all family members with loved ones on the fronts in Europe and Asia.

First printed in a Methodist hymnal in 1857, then adopted by other denominations, we discover how a sixteen year old singing in a Felix Mendelssohn opera would eventually be inspired to write the modern version of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" just a few year later. These are the songs you've probably sung since you were a child.

Ace Collins has compiled a great, easy reading resource, that will bring back your cherished memories. "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas" is a great stocking stuffer.


Review written by King for the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins Published by Zondervan

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