Music History 101

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” gained popularity in the 18th century but was penned around the ninth century. Translated from Latin to English in 1851, it's now one of the oldest continually sung Christmas songs. It’s also one of the few Christmas songs that's sung in churches and known in pop culture.



The original Christmas carols were all about the birth of Jesus. It wasn’t until much, much later that Santa Claus entered into the picture. A close second to “Jingle Bells” as the first American Christmas song, “Up On The House Top” was written by Benjamin Hanby in 1864. The song mentions “Saint Nick,” making it the first carol to mention Santa.


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