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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.
Dating back to the late 18th century, this popular seasonal song was reportedly used to help youngsters learn about their faith with each gift having a significant meaning – for example, the partridge represents Christ; the calling birds, the four Gospels; the Lords are the Ten Commandments – and so on. There’s a rather different version in the west of France. It’s all about food! Among the delicacies sung about are four pigs trotters, seven spitted rabbits, eight plates of salad and ten full casks.
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