Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas

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Overview

Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins, Clint Hansen, Clint Hansen

Behind the Christmas songs we love to sing lie fascinating stories that will enrich your holiday celebration. Taking you inside the nativity of over thirty favorite songs and carols, Ace Collins introduces you to people you’ve never met, stories you’ve never heard, and meanings you’d never have imagined. The next time you and your family sing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," you’ll have a new understanding of its message and popular roots. You’ll discover how "Angels from the Realms of Glory," with its sublime lyrics and profound theology, helped usher in a quiet revolution in worship. You’ll learn the strange history of the haunting and powerful "O Holy Night," including the song’s surprising place in the history of modern communications. And you’ll step inside the life of Mark Lowry and find out how he came to pen the words to the contemporary classic "Mary, Did You Know?" Still other songs such as "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" trace back to mysterious origins--to ninth-century monks, nameless clergy, and unknown commoners of ages past. Joining hands with such modern favorites as "White Christmas" and "The Christmas Song," they are part of the legacy of inspiration, faith, tears, love, and spiritual joy that is Christmas. From the rollicking appeal of "Jingle Bells" to the tranquil beauty of "Silent Night," the great songs of Christmas contain messages of peace, hope, and truth. Each in its own way expresses a facet of God’s heart and celebrates the birth of his greatest gift to the world--Jesus, the most wonderful Christmas Song of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310239260
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 10/01/2001
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 235,915
Product dimensions: 7.32(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.08(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog’s Life. Based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, He continues to publish several new titles each year, including a series of novels, the first of which is Farraday Road. Ace has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.

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Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 693 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
"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
JeffInTexas More than 1 year ago
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.
ChristmasLoverMO More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, Ace Collins took a great idea and completely ruined it. Collins used many myths and folklore -- unverifiable -- and stated them as fact. The author needs to go back and take a course on sources, identifying CREDIBLE sources, and citing sources. Many of the stories the author paints as fact, are in fact, myths -- fiction in other words. A good example is "The Twelve Days of Christmas." If a person does a little research on the Internet, that individual can learn that the author used a story that has been proven false on the history of this Christmas Carol. I was very disappointed because I was looking forward to reading the history of many of my favorite Christmas hymns. I'm glad I downloaded the book for free.
RLVL More than 1 year ago
Book was very informative and interesting. Would recommend it highly. Gave out to several people for Christmas gifts.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is so wonderful! I have to admit that there are numerous carols that I will forever look at differently now. This is a truly amazing book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now that was the best
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
If you are a music-lover, a Christmas-lover, or even a history buff - you will likely enjoy this book. Ace Collins gives us the backstories of songs, and shows us how there is a lot more to the seemingly simple carols that many of us have sung for decades. Some were insprited by political beliefs, while others were borne of personal angst. I won't give away but one spoiler, and will share this one just to whet your appetite. I was delighted to discover that "Good King Wenceslas" was based on an actual king, who in fact did have a heart for aiding the poor. I highly recommend this book as a holiday read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Through story telling Collins connects verse with composer, lyricist, performer, and audience. The emerging theme: songs of hope born from difficult times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My kids LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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cloud5pen More than 1 year ago
OK Book
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