Customer Reviews for

Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Christmas Alone

My husband and I are separated and this will be my first Christmas alone in thirty years. Understandably I have not been looking forward to the Holidays. But I ran across this little book while shopping. It is a delightful quick read. Apparently some of our most beloved...
My husband and I are separated and this will be my first Christmas alone in thirty years. Understandably I have not been looking forward to the Holidays. But I ran across this little book while shopping. It is a delightful quick read. Apparently some of our most beloved Christmas Songs were inspired during times of trial and suffering. Discovering that pain and suffering produces creative inspiration and rebirth actually helped me to begin planning for Christmas. It is a small step but a beginning... A new beginning.

posted by Anonymous on November 4, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but Misleading

"Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas" by Ace Collins (Website) is a short book, divided into sections, each corresponding to a beloved Christmas song. The book is arranged alphabetically and includes lyrics to most of the songs.

The book tells about 31 C...
"Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas" by Ace Collins (Website) is a short book, divided into sections, each corresponding to a beloved Christmas song. The book is arranged alphabetically and includes lyrics to most of the songs.

The book tells about 31 Christmas songs and carols including "Do You Hear what I Hear", "G-d Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", "Jingle Bells', "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and more. The titles are arrange alphabetically and most of the songs also include the lyrics.

I was looking forward to read "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas", not only to get into the holiday spirit but also because I love this type of books since my childhood. These short stories filled with charming facts and little unknown tidbits were always fascinating to me.

Not to mention a great resource in case I'll be on "Jeopardy" one day.

The premise of this book is quite interesting, that is telling the history of each carol or Christmas song. Mr. Collins is a good writer and makes the stories he writes about engaging and easy to read, but he lacks some serious research. The core fact of what the author is describing are woven with information which cannot be verified (such as putting thoughts in people's heads) or is simply misleading (I did some fact checking and found conflicting information). If the information is not wrong well, the reader is out of luck because there are absolutely no sources at the end.

I will grant the author that most of the stories he tells are legitimate and verifiable when one checks up on them but to mix fact and fiction only undermines the authors credibility.

For example, the author's take on "Good King Wenceslas", he mixes facts and legends into a simple narrative which could easily be taken as all pure fact and worst - be quoted from in the future. The piece about "Twelve Days of Christmas" (which accidentally I happen to look up) was taken out of an Internet page without any reasonable research. The author claims that the "Twelve Days of Christmas" was some sort of coded reference but a 2 second search on Google using the term "Twelve Days of Christmas Origin" brought me to a Snopes page claiming it is false.

For more book reviews please visit ManOfLaBook dot com

posted by Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com on December 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    Christmas Alone

    My husband and I are separated and this will be my first Christmas alone in thirty years. Understandably I have not been looking forward to the Holidays. But I ran across this little book while shopping. It is a delightful quick read. Apparently some of our most beloved Christmas Songs were inspired during times of trial and suffering. Discovering that pain and suffering produces creative inspiration and rebirth actually helped me to begin planning for Christmas. It is a small step but a beginning... A new beginning.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    The best book of its kind.

    As a musician, I have always enjoyed learning the story behind the song. But this book turns each story into it an inspiation. I started out picking and choosing which songs I to read about. When I realized how much I was motivated by every story, I went back and read about the all the other songs and was moved by them too. Each song story is completely self-contained and are great for reading aloud to friends, family, and children. I bought all the remaining copies at my local B&N to give to friends last Christmas. This is the best "story behind the song" book I have ever read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    Very sweet and inspiring book

    I often wondered about where some of the Christmas songs came from. This book answered that question besides giving very interesting details about the backgrounds of the song's authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Absolutely wonderful.... As I read the stories I kept hearing th

    Absolutely wonderful.... As I read the stories I kept hearing the tune in my head and singing it in my heart. When I went to church each song sung took on more significance and produced more gratitude. This book portrays the deeper mystery of this wonderful season. There is a quiet working of the gospel message that is bigger than an individual and reaches out to all in ways man could not begin to orchestrate himself. God is behind and within every song and it's history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    Awsome kid book

    My kids LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Super Interesting

    Just a great read & fun to hear the stories behing these great songs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Great free book

    Very enjoyable histories of favorite Christmas songs.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    We wish you a merry christmas...

    PERFECT book!!!!!!!

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    Delightful Book

    I really enjoyed reading about the background of all these wonderful Christmas songs I have sung most of my life. A great addition to any library!

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    who knew?

    great reading loved reading abour the origins of the songs Biggest surprise was the 12 days of Christmas

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2010

    I Loved this Book!

    I love my Christmas music, so much so that I get mad when the radio stations stop playing it on December 26. Now, I have all of the background info on all of my favorite songs, and how they were 'born'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    highley recommen this book

    I realy enjoyed this book. great info on christmas songs I never knew.
    going to buy it for friends and family to put out at christmas. Great book and it was free at 152 pages would recommened this book.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommend

    This book was a wonderful read! It was so interesting to read the stories behind the songs! I suggest checking out the following 2 stories first Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and 12 Days of Christmas. VERY interesting! Happy reading!

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Christmas Songs

    This was a great book that tells how each of our favorite Christmas songs came to be written. Now, when you are singing that song you can know the facts about it. A must have book for all who love Christmas carols.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

    Loved it!

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    Posted December 14, 2010

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    Posted June 22, 2013

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    Posted October 18, 2011

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    Posted December 10, 2010

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    Posted August 6, 2011

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