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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.
After the first appearance of carols in the Middle Ages the Reformation took hold and the popularity of the seasonal songs took a downward turn. It wasn’t really until the Victorian era when they started to enjoy a resurgence. 'The First Nowell' - or 'First Noel' as it is normally known today - was originally a traditional Cornish Carol. It was first published in a collection called Xmas Carols Ancient and Modern in 1833 by a solicitor William Sandys.
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