World Music Advent Calendar - December 21st
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
UKRAINE: Shchedryk - Crimean Chamber Choir
This well-known Christmas carol has it is origins in the Crimean region of Ukraine, which tells the story of a swallow flying into a house to declare the prophecy of the prosperous year that lies ahead. Whilst not exactly a Christmas song, with scant religious references, the song was adapted by a choir director Oleksander Koshyts who commissioned Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich to write the tune that is synonymous with the festival all around the world. Despite being more of a New Year’s Eve song, it was adopted by the Americans who changed the lyrics, calling the song Carol of The Bells and reference Christmas in a more explicit manner e.g. the mention of silver bells and carolling. The tune is one of a rare breed of songs that has been made more popular outside of its country of origin as it is barely heard around Christmas time in Ukraine.