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Did you know about the gender politics of 'The Holly and the Ivy' - or the mouse who gave us 'Silent Night'? Anne Marie-Minhall takes a look at some of the amazing stories behind our best-loved Christmas carols.
This hugely popular carol came about in 1818 just a few days before Christmas, after an Austrian church mouse munched his way through the bellows of an organ. The organist, Franz Gruber, went to see his priest, Joseph Mohr, to express his concern that there would be no music for Christmas. Equally concerned, Father Joseph wrote a new carol - not requiring an organ - in haste, while Gruber composed the tune. It was played for the first time on guitar at Midnight Mass.
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