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Many of our most popular Christmas carols were written by that great composer Anonymous (who also wrote under his nickname, Anon). He also penned such favourite tunes as Greensleeves, God Save the Queen and Scarborough Fair - but it’s his Christmas hits that concern us here.
Anonymous popped up in Finland in the 13th century to write a spring carol. The tune was later commandeered for this homage to a kindly Czech king. Wenceslas seized power from his mother (who was opposed to Christianity), ended the persecution of the clergy and became celebrated for his kindness and generosity to the poor. He was killed by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel (living up to his name).
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