Poll: Christmas Carols in a Minor Key

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is a time of joy and festivity, and most of the season's music reflects that. Still, a few holiday tunes were written in minor keys and carry a darker or more melancholic atmosphere. Tell us your favorite minor-key Christmas carol.



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Comments [11]

ELBSeattle from Seattle

Masters in This Hall
Soul Cake (Sting covered it on his holiday album)
Whence Comes This Rush of Wings Afar? (French carol)
Noel Nouvelet (another French carol that sometimes goes by 'Sing We Now of Christmas')
We Three Kings has its verses in a minor key

Sep. 11 2012 02:31 AM
Leung from Queens

Besides God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence;
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel;
Once in Royal David's City;
In the Bleak Midwinter;

Dec. 25 2010 03:29 PM
SophieArielle from Larchmont

I love a French christmas carol "Joseph est bien marie a la fille de Jesse" and it is sung in a minor key. I don't know if it has an English translation.

Dec. 19 2010 02:59 PM
Michael Meltzer

"Lo How a Rose" is very beautiful, but it is NOT in a minor key. That's what this is about.

Dec. 17 2010 03:19 PM

Thank you, Metrobird from Chinatown, for reminding me of all three of your suggestions, esp. the lovely "Lo, how a rose is blooming"! I could hear the tune but was having trouble finding the words.

Dec. 17 2010 11:04 AM
Nancy Wight from New York City

I love "What Child Is This" very much and play it on my balalaika. Still, the "Carol of the Bells" is my favorite.

Dec. 17 2010 10:01 AM
Michael Meltzer

Folks, If you want "In the Bleak Midwinter," you have to tell them whose. It's not a carol, it's a poem by Christina Rosetti that's been set to music by a number of good composers, but each setting is different music. WQXR just played a solo one by Holst, sung by Bryn Terfel. The most commonly sung choral setting is by Harold Darke. There's another by Herbert Howells, and I know there are more, too. Sorry, but this one takes homework.

Dec. 17 2010 04:47 AM

Michael Meltzer - my thoughts exactly! How could they leave out Coventry Carol, the most devastating of Christmas songs? Come on, add that in! And "In the Bleak Midwinter" while you're at it!

Dec. 16 2010 01:44 PM
Michael Meltzer

Coventry Carol. How could you have left that out?

Dec. 15 2010 06:51 PM
metrobird from Chinatown

Every year, I look forward to hearing O Come O Come Emmanuel, In the Bleak Midwinter and Lo, how a rose (Es ist ein rose).

Dec. 15 2010 06:02 PM
K Hann

I love "I wonder as I wander" , but a close second is "In the bleak midwinter"

Dec. 15 2010 05:29 PM

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