Nation chooses favourite Christmas carols

09:33 24 December 2012

O Holy Night has been voted the nation

O Holy Night has been voted the nation's top Christmas carol. File picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Britons have chosen O Holy Night as their favourite Christmas carol in an annual poll.

The piece, which dates back to 1847, has topped radio station Classic FM’s poll since 2003. 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.

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

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.

Eight years later an English translation was created by John Sullivan Dwight.

Silent Night was the runner-up in the 2012 poll, while In the Bleak Mid-Winter - the Gustav Holst version - was third.

The full countdown of the top 30 carols will be broadcast in a Christmas Day programme - The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Carols - presented by John Brunning from 1pm.

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 others in the top 10 were Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Harold Drake’s version of In the Bleak Mid-Winter, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.

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