Carol wars

For those of you who want to know what I'm ranting about in my previous post, here are the two versions of the carols - the one I'm used to in England and the ones sung by Canadians. First Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. The English version which was a folk song adapted by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1903.

and here is the version sung in Canada (eek). Music by Louis Redner, an organist from Philadelphia, written in 1868.

Now for In the Bleak midwinter. Based on a poem by Christina Rossetti. Beautiful English version first by Holst. (1906)

and now for the version my Canadian family sing. Music by Harold Darke (1909). I see this version (not MY favourite) was voted the world's best Christmas carol in a poll of choirmasters. There's no accounting for taste is there?

Whichever version is "your" version , even if it's the wrong one, I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas and happy carolling!


  1. You're in the New World now, sing it our way!

  2. Fair point but will I ever learn to love your funny tunes?
    Maybe that's when I become a Canadian? oh and when the scars heal from my winter boots.

  3. Yes, well, they're all a bit bleak, aren't they? They'd be bleak in mid-summer. Let's have some rousing tunes, shall we, before we all go unconscious, please? x

  4. How dare you madam. I love those dreary carols.

  5. Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and finding it a really interesting read. I'm a Briton hoping to move to Canada one day, I've spent around a month in Montreal in total, just visiting, long enough to fall in love with the country I think! I'm obviously trying to find out as much as I can regarding the whole immigration process, but I learn so much more by reading personal experiences such as your own. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Welcome. This isn't an official guide but you will get an idea of life here. I love it and it probably shows even though I'm often complaining about tea, carols, etc. I complained a lot in England too.

  7. I remember my first Christmas in the UK, hearing 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' at a carol service, and was so shocked to realise that the version that I had grown up with in Singapore was (North) American!

    So I still do like the American version (it's a childhood nostalgia thing), but I really like the English version as well - it's more musical and 'festive' to my ears. I guess our son will have to learn both when he is older, haha...

  8. Yes it's more festive - that's exactly what it is. Wow having to learn two versions of carols sounds like hard work. Of course if he has taste he will prefer the British one!


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