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Carol of the Bells – The Rock Choir Version
Sponsored by: Partisan For The People 🇺🇸🍻👯♀️
Content by: Rock Choir
Thousands of Ukrainians will spend the festive period apart from their families and it is so important for us to continue our support.
Sung by our Rock Choir Leaders and featuring images from member efforts over the last 10 months, we dedicate this video and performance to the people of Ukraine. 🇺🇦
Fundraising events and your generous donations have now helped Rock Choir raise OVER £50,000! Each donation helps the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal deliver vital aid to hundreds of thousands of people in need.
Thank you for your support! Please continue to share and help us make a difference. ⭐️
“Carol of the Bells” is a popular Christmas carol, with music by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 and lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk“. The music is in the public domain, Wilhousky’s lyrics are however under copyright protection (owned by Carl Fischer Music).
The music is based on a four-note ostinato and is in
time signature, with the B-flat bell pealing in time. The carol is metrically bistable, and a listener can focus on either measure or switch between them. It has been adapted for many genres, including: classical, metal, jazz, country music, rock, trap, and pop. The piece also features in films, television shows, and parodies.
The conductor of the Ukrainian Republic Choir, Oleksander Koshyts (also spelled Alexander Koshetz) commissioned Leontovych to create the song based on traditional Ukrainian folk chants, and the resulting new work for choir, “Shchedryk”, was based on four notes Leontovych found in an anthology.
The original folk story related in the song was associated with the coming New Year, which, in pre-Christian Ukraine, was celebrated with the coming of spring in April. The original Ukrainian title translates to “the generous one” or is perhaps derived from the Ukrainian word for bountiful (shchedryj), and tells a tale of a swallow flying into a household to proclaim the bountiful year that the family will have.
With the introduction of Christianity to Ukraine and the adoption of the Julian calendar, the celebration of the New Year was moved from April to January, and the holiday with which the chant was originally associated became Malanka (Ukrainian: Щедрий вечір, Shchedry vechir), the eve of the Julian New Year (the night of January 13–14 in the Gregorian calendar). The songs sung for this celebration are known as Shchedrivky.
The song was first performed by students at Kyiv University in December 1916, but the song lost popularity in Ukraine shortly after the Soviet Union took hold. It was introduced to Western audiences by the Ukrainian National Chorus during its 1919 concert tour of Europe and the Americas, where it premiered in the United States on October 5, 1922, to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall. The original work was intended to be sung a cappella by mixed four-voice choir. Two other settings of the composition were also created by Leontovych: one for women’s choir (unaccompanied) and another for children’s choir with piano accompaniment. These are rarely performed or recorded.
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