Posts filed under ‘Christmas’

Oh, Come, Little Children

“Oh, Come, Little Children” is a German Christmas carol. The lyrics were written by Catholic priest and writer Christoph von Schmid in 1798. The music to the poem as it is known today was written by the composer Johann Abraham Peter Schulz in 1790.

December 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

A la Nanita Nana

“A la Nanita Nana” is a traditional Christmas carol that has become a popular lullaby in the Hispanic world. The composer was José Ramón Gomis, born in 1856 in Novelda, Alicante, Spain; the lyrics were written by Juan Francisco Muñoz y Pabón. The carol was published in 1904.


December 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

There’s a Song in the Air

“There’s a Song in the Air” is a Christmas carol and United Methodist Church hymn. The music, by Karl P. Harrington, dates from 1904. The words are the work of American poet and novelist Josiah Holland, who wrote them in 1874.

December 19, 2019 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

As Each Happy Christmas/Christ was born on Christmas Day

This is my arrangement of two short Christmas songs, “As Each Happy Christmas” and “Christ was born on Christmas Day”, into a medley,  Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck (1770-1846) composed the music to “As Each Happy Christmas”, originally a German carol. The tune for “Christ was born on Christmas Day” dates from the 14th century.


December 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Silent Night

Silent Night” is probably the single most popular Christmas carol ever. The song has been recorded by a huge number of artists from every possible music genre. The 1935 version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.

The story of the carol is pretty well-known:

The song was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf,  Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had written the lyrics of the song “Stille Nacht” in 1816. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Franz Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass, as the church’s organ was not functioning.

My instrumental arrangement is in the style of the Shadows.

December 7, 2017 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Nut Rocker

Nut Rocker” was an instrumental rock single recorded by  B. Bumble and the Stingers that reached number 23 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in March 1962.  It is based on of Tchaikovsky’s “March of the Toy Soldiers”, from his ballet The Nutcracker.

The first version released was by pianist H. B. Barnum, released by “Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks” on the small Del Rio label.

It was also performed live and recorded by prog-rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer, whose single was also released in 1972. In 2009, Trans-Siberian Orchestra released a version of “Nut Rocker”, featuring Greg Lake, on their album Night Castle.

Both the Ventures and the Shadows also recorded versions.

My arrangement is based on the original 1962 versions.


July 15, 2017 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, written by Charles Wesley. The popular version is the result of alterations by various hands, notably by Wesley’s co-worker George Whitefield who changed the opening couplet to the familiar one, and by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840.

My version is instrumental rock.

December 24, 2016 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

The Babe in Bethlehem’s Manger


“The Babe in Bethlehem’s Manger” is an anonymous English folk Christmas carol celebrating the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The writer of the carol is not known however the lyrics are traditionally ascribed as being a traditional folk hymn from the English county of Kent. The music probably dates from the 18th century.

My instrumental rock arrangement is in the style of the Shadows.

December 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Wassail Song

“The Wassail Song” (Here We Come A-wassailing) is an English traditional Christmas carol composed c. 1850. It refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door, in hopes of partaking of the wassail bowl – a hearty combination of hot ale or beer, apples, spices and mead.

My arrangement is in a 1960’s instrumental guitar rock style similar to the Ventures.

December 22, 2016 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

Carol of the Birds

“Carol of the Birds” is a traditional Catalan Christmas carol. I have arranged it in the instrumental style of the Shadows.

December 21, 2016 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Jolly Old St Nicolas

“Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” is a secular Christmas song that originated with a poem by Emily Huntington Miller (1833-1913), published as “Lilly’s Secret” in 1865.  The song is traditionally performed to a melody which James Lord Pierpont wrote in 1857 for the original version of “Jingle Bells”.

For a “B” section, I have used “The Boar’s Head Carol”, a 15th century English Christmas carol that describes the ancient tradition of sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a Yuletide feast.

As usual, my instrumental arrangement is in 1960’s guitar-rock style.

December 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Fum Fum Fum

“Fum, Fum, Fum” is a traditional Catalan Christmas carol dating from the 16th or 17th century. The word “fum” means smoke in Catalan, so the title may refer to smoke rising from a chimney as seen from afar, or, as indicated in the New Oxford Book of Carols, “may imitate the strumming of a guitar”.

December 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm Leave a comment

In Midnight’s Silence

“In Midnight’s Silence” is a traditional Polish carol.

My instrumental arrangement is high-energy surf-rock.

December 19, 2016 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

Carol of the Bells

“Carol of the Bells” is a popular Christmas carol composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The lyrics are copyrighted, although the original musical composition is not, as it was based on a folk song.

My instrumental arrangement attempts to capture how a 1960’s guitar rock band might have played it.

December 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is a popular Christmas carol from the West Country of England.

My instrumental arrangement is in the style of the Ventures.

December 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

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February 2023