Hark! The stories behind our favorite Christmas carols

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The cookies, the mistletoe, the lights...oh, and the music! For Christians, Christmas carols mark a season of hope and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Even in popular culture, these iconic jingles capture a warmth, a cheer and a nostalgia that transcends religious belonging. But where do these beloved yuletide songs come from? What inspired the people who composed them? How did they become popular and even mainstream? And what impact do their ancient Christian messages have on an increasingly post-Christian culture? America Media presents “Hark!” a podcast on the meaning and the making of our most beloved Christmas carols and their time-honored traditions. 

America Media


    • Nov 28, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • monthly NEW EPISODES
    • 19m AVG DURATION
    • 3 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from Hark! The stories behind our favorite Christmas carols

    O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2021 34:13

    What would it mean to approach Advent with a sense of longing, rather than wanting or demanding? That's the question posed by Roc O'Connor S.J., of the famed St. Louis Jesuits. And the Christmas carol that seems to best encapsulate this holy longing is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” It's one of the oldest carols in circulation, with a text that dates back to the 8th century. To uncover the story of this ancient hymn, we're joined by Cameron Upchurch, chapel organist and Director of Music at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Special thanks to the Ignatian Schola and to Salt of the Sound (and their record label Echoes Blue Music), for their recordings of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel;” to Frank Tuson for providing instrumental accompaniment to the Schola; and to Cameron Upchurch, Frank Tuson and Ricardo da Silva for vocals on this episode.   To support the production of “Hark!” and to access other great Advent reflections from America Magazine staff, please subscribe at americamagazine.org/subscribe.

    Here we come a-caroling!

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 22:57

    On the first episode of Hark! we unwrap the history of Christmas carols in Europe and why so many of them are set in a haunting minor key. Host Maggi Van Dorn is joined by Rosie Pentreath, musician and music writer for Classic FM, and the founder/host of the OUTcast podcast. To support the production of Hark! and to access other great Advent reflections from America Magazine staff, please subscribe at americamagazine.org/subscribe.   Special thanks to Harpa Dei and Jim Bilodeau for providing some of the original music you heard in this episode. And to Frank Tuson for our theme music.

    Hark! The stories of our favorite Christmas carols - COMING SOON

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 2:35

    America Media presents “Hark!” a podcast on the meaning and the making of our most beloved Christmas carols and their time-honored traditions.

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