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Ding, Dong, Merrily on High: Celebrate Christmas
I absolutely love the chorus of Ding, Dong, Merrily on High. I was in school choirs from an early age and I sang soprano; I am sure I had to perform this piece at one time or another. Even today I find it almost impossible not to sing along with the chorus. It is such a happy, positive song to sing, celebrating the joy of the season.
Christmas time was always a musical time for me. I think I was 7 when I first joined the school choir; we performed in Christmas pageants at the local church. I only have memories of performing in one of those pageants. I was an angel, as were all the choir members, in a nativity play.
I was never a religious person; I looked forward to going to church every Sunday just because it gave me a chance to sing. Christmas was as much about music to me as getting and giving gifts. Sad to say I got away from that as an adult; but I am slowly coming back to music.
Ding, Dong, Merrily on High
Ding, Dong, Merrily on High is based on a secular French dance tune entitled Le branle de l’official by Jehan Tabourot and dates from the 16th century. The English lyrics were written and published in 1924 by George Ratcliffe Woodward in his book “The Cambridge Carol Book.”
It doesn’t seem that many popular artists have recorded the song. It’s not surprising because there are not too many sopranos recording other than opera singers. However, I did find a version by Celtic Woman who are one of my all-time favorite groups; there is nothing they can’t sing and beautifully too. Roger Whittaker does a very good version also.
Celtic Woman sing like angels. It doesn't matter if they are singing Christmas carols or traditional Celtic songs; you don't want to take your eyes off of them. Their vocals are always perfect.
This is a more operatic version of the song. Charlotte Church began her career as a child and just continues to improve.
King's College Choir
This is how the song seems to have been written to be performed, by a top-notch choir.
Vienna Boy's Choir
There is nothing like hearing the Vienna Boy's Choir at Christmas time. This version sounds so innocent and pure.
There was a time when Julie Andrews thought she might never sing again, thankfully she came back from the condition which threatened her voice. However, she has retired from singing now and co-writes children's books with her daughter under the name Julie Edwards.
Do you sing?
Did you sing in your school choir, your church choir or a secular choir? Do you have memories of singing this song?
Let me know what you think of Ding, Dong Merrily on High in the comments box below.