Humming along to the completely wrong tune

Posted on December 19, 2008 by pacificyorkshirebird

avt_kapyork_large115During my first Christmas in England, my parents came over to spend the holidays with Mr. Charismatic and me.  We took them to York Minster on Christmas Eve to listen to the Christmas Carols sung by a choir.  They invited audience participation so we stood up with everyone else and starting singing but in about 3 seconds we were looking around in astonishment.  We were singing the right words, but in the wrong tune!

Mr. Charismatic was singing the right tune – he clearly knew the songs well.  I was thinking it was funny he never mentioned the difference during his Christmases in America.  Then I realised that all of our previous Christmases were during our long-distance years. 

I still have never done the research to find out why I new all the words but not the right tunes.  Is it another of those things that Americans changed?  Or was the church version just different then the commercial tunes? 

Britians in America – did you notice this?

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Steve Shawcross December 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    “The Song about Snow in Africa” is from Do They Know It’s Christmas?, by Band Aid. It was released in 1984, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. The song is the second best-selling single in UK chart history– it was to raise money for famine relief in Ethopia (followed by Live Aid in 1985)

    Last Christmas came second to the above song in 1984, made by Wham– who also featured in the Band Aid single!

    Walking In The Air originally featured in the Snowman, a book by Raymond Briggs which became a animation for then fledging C4 in 1982– still is shown every Christmas Eve– something of an institution.

    The song in the cartoon was originally sung by a choirboy called Peter Aughty. However in 1985 Toyz R Us wanted to use the song, so re-recorded it using Welsh choirboy Aled Jones. It was then released as a single, and Jones has been associated with the song ever since!

    I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town aren’t that widely known here, seen as a bit archaic here.

    Cliff Richard is known for his Christmas songs, he has had two festive #1s… Mistletoe & Wine is annoyingly catchy.

    The most recurrent Christmas song is Slade’s Merry Xmas everyone– well worth a Google!

  2. Pingback: Why are you singing ‘Away In A Manger’ like that?? | She's Not From Yorkshire

  3. Iota December 22, 2008 at 1:54 am

    This morning in church we had Angels from the Realms of Glory to another ‘wrong’ tune.

  4. peacefulyorkshire December 21, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Not sure about the lyrics to songs…but I have learned a ton of new tunes for Christmas since living in Britain

    Walking in the Air

    Away in a Manger (the version Iota from above must have learned)

    The Song about Snow in Africa (god whats the name?)

    The song with words “last Christmas I gave you my heart” etc

    I have expanded my Christmas song repertoire, I love it!
    Oh, and there are a lot of songs I teach my boyfriend here in the UK, like “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Santa Claus is coming to town”
    Bring on the Christmas songs, I say more more more!

  5. Iota December 20, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Away in a Manger is the wrong tune over here. I haven’t noticed any others, but I haven’t been to very many carol- singing occasions.

  6. yankeebean December 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    YES! One of things I’m looking forward to the most this year is singing American Christmas carols. I can’t WAIT to belt out the classics just like when I was a kid.

    It’s going to be an American Christmas extravaganza!!!

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