Andrew Gant provides us with a fluent but flinty digest of the modern scholarship concerning 22 of our favourite seasonal songs.
Rich in picturesque detail.
An intriguing history.
Which Christmas carol started life as a song about a dead ox? Andrew Gant reveals the curious truth about some of our favourites.
What an absolute gem of a book. It's much more than a history of carols. Gant has one of those rare minds that can bring together strands from so many different histories: language, literature, music, dance, church, societal and political histories all gather in this book. Our understanding of the wonderfully complex and fertile soil which has enabled the birth and nourished the development of the carols we all think we know so well is hugely enriched. It is meticulously researched and beautifully presented, and yet is anything but dry. Gant's writing rolls merrily with wit and love, and it is a joy to read. I shall be giving it to everyone for Christmas!
Ding dong, merrily on high ... this is my kind of Christmas present. A musical Christmas cracker - fascinating and full of interesting surprises.
In Deck the Hall, Andrew Gant delivers the very surprising stories behind the best-loved music of the Christmas season. You'll never hear or sing these carols in the same way again. There's everything here, the true and enduring spirit of Christmas, plus why food and love have played such an important role in the traditional tunes which are part of our lives. An enlightening, entertaining winter read, this is fascinating festive fare of the musical variety. Get ready to tuck in and share the tales.
Medieval saints rub shoulders with drunken monks, eccentric clergymen, Victorian spinsters and dodgy gold prospectors in this rollicking history of Christmas carols and those who wrote them. Entertaining, erudite, enlightening: everything you never knew about Christmas carols in one festive cracker of a book ... And I thought I knew about Christmas carols.
After reading this book, I'll never think about these much-loved Christmas carols in the same light again! Andrew Gant gives a fascinating context to each of them - an insight into life at the time they evolved, an idea of why the writer was moved to create these lines, and the way in which melodies and verses have been so perfectly partnered down the years that we find it hard to believe people in other countries might choose a completely different tune. There's a wealth of facts for each carol, but Andrew has a light touch that engages us in the detail, whilst drawing us ever closer to the seasonal wonder and glory of Christ's birth on that holy night in Bethlehem.
The book is a veritable treasure trove of facts and knowledge not just about the featured carols, but about the roots of each and is testament to the knowledge and background of the author.