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Everyone loves Christmas carols ... but which festive favourite topped poll of seasonal songs?

CAROL singers such as the Sing For Simon charity group have been out in force over the last few days, providing the background to your Christmas shopping and partying.

But what is our favourite traditional Christmas Carol? According to a new poll, O Holy Night just pips Silent Night to the post.

Figures such as Mariah Carey and Aled Jones have recorded versions of the song and it is a choral favourite.

The piece, which dates back to 1847, topped an annual poll by radio station Classic FM. A year earlier it came only third, with Silent Night leading the field, but went on to get a boost when it was performed by Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus.

O Holy Night was written by Placide Clappeau, a wine merchant and mayor of Roquemaure, France, while Adolphe Adam, a composer best known for his ballet Giselle, wrote the music.

An English translation was created by John Sullivan Dwight eight years later. Silent Night was the runner-up in the 2012 poll, while In the Bleak Mid-Winter was third.

Classic FM presenter John Brunning said: "Many of the most memorable tunes anywhere in music belong to Christmas Carols. Musical fads come and go -- but our national love of singing traditional Carols shows no sign of fading away."

The top 10 were:

1. O Holy Night

2. Silent Night

3. In the Bleak Mid-Winter (the Gustav Holst version)

4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

5. In the Bleak Mid-Winter (the Harold Darke version)

6. O Come All Ye Faithful

7. O Little Town of Bethlehem

8. Away in a Manger

9. Joy to the World

10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

hnews@herald.ie


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