Do you know the Christmas song, “Carol of the Bells”? Did you know that this Christmas carol that has nothing to do with Christmas?
Traditionally in the Ukraine, young women travel from door to door on New Year’s Eve, singing folk songs in exchange for baked goods and treats. One of the popular folk songs sung on this day is the basis for this carol.
American composer Peter Wilhousky said that the song reminded him of bells, and so he began writing new lyrics to the Ukrainian carol. The result, “Carol of the Bells,” was first performed in 1936 with the message to leave behind the cares of the world for the joyful peal of bells, ringing in the Christmas season.
Though Carol of the Bells may not have begun as a Christmas song, it has emerged as a seasonal classic, and a reminder that the good news of Christmas rings true all year long.