Dilly Carol is another Christmas song I’d never heard before being introduced to it by Kate Rusby. It is another example of the way simple numerical progression and lyrical repetition served to reinforce memorisation of lyric and content among those who wouldn’t have had easy common access to printed materials. Folk singing at its best. …

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Sandra McCracken’s Ring The Bells seeks to evoke the truths of Christmas in the way they’re expressed in contemporary life among family and friends. It doesn’t feel like a history lesson, but expresses how the reality of Jesus’ birth is lived. This song features on her album Christmas.

Kate Rusby’s revisiting of carols such as While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night with the different melodies and arrangements from regional England demonstrate how a familiar set of words can be interpreted and expressed by different communities of faith. This one was recorded on her album Holly Head as While Shepherds Watched 6.

Philip Doddridge’s hymn Hark The Glad Sound, The Saviour Comes is well matched with Thomas Hawel’s tune RICHMOND, which hymnary describes as ‘florid’, but which I’ve always liked singing. Again, there seem to be numerous versions of the lyrics and verse selections in circulation. This an assured rendition of choir, congregation, instruments, and organ.