The Christmas song The First Noel was never one of my favorites until Pap and Paul put it on their Songs of Christmas cd. Paul’s vocals are truly outstanding-between his voice, the music, and Pap’s tenor the song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.
After becoming enamored with the song, I began to wonder about it’s origin. I assumed it was from the early 1900s, but I was wrong.
- The First Noel is one of the oldest Christmas songs around, as old as 400 years
- There are some folks who think the song originated in France others think England
- Noel-is a loud shout expressing the joy surrounding Christ’s birth
- It’s considered a folk song
- The original version had many grammatical errors showing that an uneducated person wrote the song (which makes it mean even more to me)
- The writer was obviously excited about Christmas even though during that time period Bibles were not accessible to every day folks and even if they had been most people couldn’t read
- For many years after the song was written the clergy frowned on songs such as The First Noel making it a true song of the people
- In 1833 The First Noel was finally published by William Sandys and soon afterward The Church Of England began using the song as a hymn
Amazing how the song survived just by word of mouth; sung around the fire passed on to each generation. Knowing The First Noel was written by someone with not much education but a strong desire to express their joy of Christmas makes the song seem truly from the heart.
Listen to Paul and Pap’s version and see if you enjoy it too. Click on the link below that says The First Noel. You may have to hit the back button to get back to this page after listening to the song