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10 Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Carols

I love this post I found on Mental Floss last year:

Special Guest
By Glen Gower, @XmasCarolFacts
Every year on Christmas Eve, families gather around the piano and sing carols. Some of these little ditties date back centuries, and the stories behind them are fascinating. I thought it would be fun to collect some of my favorite Christmas music facts and publish them on Twitter. Here are just a few of my favorites.
1. Felix Mendelssohn composed the tune to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” as a tribute to printer/inventor Johann Gutenberg.
2. Dick Smith wrote the words for “Winter Wonderland” while recovering from tuberculosis in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
3. Australians have their own version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” where all of the animals are replaced by wildlife from down under.
4. “Do You Hear What I Hear” was inspired by the Cuban Missile Crisis.
5. “O Holy Night” was the second piece of music to ever be broadcast on radio, in 1906.
6. In “Up on the Housetop,” Santa brings one of the kids a hammer and tacks. Another child gets a whip.
7. Elvis recorded “White Christmas” in 1957. Composer Irving Berlin tried to get it banned from the radio.
8. Gemini 7 astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell asked to have “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” played for them while they were in orbit in 1965.
9. The original lyric for “Silver Bells” was actually “Tinkle Bells,” inspired by a tiny bell on the desk of composers Livingston and Evans.
10. The Grand Hotel from “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas” is believed to be in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
When I’m not practicing Christmas music on the piano, I’m an Ottawa-based writer and producer. You can follow me on Twitter the rest of the year @glengower.

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