God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen!

This Christmas we count down the days with an advent calendar of the 25 best Christmas carols ever written, as voted for by 50 top choral experts from the across the UK and US.

4 December: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen!

Words: Traditional


Music: Traditional

Ebeneezer Scrooge took exception to this traditional English carol in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, reacting so furiously to it that the carol singer on the other side of the door ran away ‘in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost’. Scrooge, however, was not on our voting panel – today’s choirmasters have been more readily seduced by its minor-key melody and rousing ‘O Tidings of Comfort and Joy’ chorus.

December 1: Silent Night

December 2: The Lamb


December 3: Three Kings