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God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen : A Traditional Christmas Carol

Updated on November 21, 2011

When I hear God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen I am taken back to an idealized version of what Christmas once was. Roaring fires, castles decked with bough of holly and ivy, singing and dancing and all around merry making; basically I'm thinking the Ghost of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol. After all, it was the Victorians who gave us most of our current Christmas traditions. Of course, only the fortunate few such as kings and queens celebrated like that. The rest of the population were too busy trying to keep warm and find enough food to eat; think Bob Cratchit and family.

I have said before that I am not a religious person but that I'm drawn to Christmas songs that have a religious theme. Not a surprising thing in a Christmas song, of course. I love the musicality of this carol and love to sing along whenever I have the chance.


God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, also known as God Rest You Merry Gentlemen was first published in 1760 and was listed as "a new Christmas carol." The tune is an English traditional one and the author is unknown.

The song has been recorded by numerous choirs, orchestras and popular artists.Some of the better known artists who have recorded the song include Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Annie Lennox, and even the cast of Glee.

Barenaked Ladies

The pride of Canada, too bad Steven Page is no longer a member; I think he is in a new commercial with Paul Anka though...Paul Anka is singing Jingle Bells in the back seat of a car.

I love this jazzified version of the songl Sarah McLachlan is featured on the track.

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics sings this song like you would imagine an angel would sing it. I love her vocals and her performance.

Bing Crosby

White Christmas is not the only Christmas song sung by Bing. This helps to capture the spirit of Christmas.

Nat King Cole

Christmas isn't Christmas unless you hear the King sing. His voice just screams Christmas to me; a laid-back relaxing Christmas.

Jethro Tull

And instrumental version...on flute.This would be a great background accompaniment to your Christmas dinner or cocktail party.

Let us know what you think

Which is your favorite Christmas carol and what was your favorite version of this song? Share your views and list your favorites in the comments box below.


Submit a Comment

  • alocsin profile image


    6 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Nice to have all these versions to listen to. Voting this Up and Awesome.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    With Christmas round the corner, the hub was good one about the Christmas carols.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for the comments, more Christmas carols to come :)

  • anglnwu profile image


    6 years ago

    Thank you for bringing the joy of Christmas this hub. Always good to get in the mood earlier. Thanks.

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 

    6 years ago from North Carolina

    Isn't it amazing how different one song sounds depending on who is singing it, and how it is sung? Thanks for sharing such an interesting hub about this Christmas song.

  • homesteadbound profile image

    Cindy Murdoch 

    6 years ago from Texas

    it's hard to pick a favorite. I love Christmas carols. And the ones I know by heart, such as this one, I often catch myself singing year round. Great hub!


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