Carol of the Bells

History of Christmas Carols

Title: Carol of the Bells, originally titled Shchedryk.

Author: Composed by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (1877-1921) in 1916. Originally titled Shchedryk, this Ukrainian folk song is about a sparrow and the bountiful year that awaits a family. It was first performed in the Ukraine on the night of January 13, 1916, on the Julian calendar this is considered New Year's Eve. In the United States the song was first performed on October 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall.

Interesting Fact: Peter J. Wilhousky (1902-1978) wrote new lyrics based on the melody of Shchedryk in 1936. He copyrighted it and the song is what we now know as "Carol of the Bells." As the title implies, this hauntingly beautiful song is about the sound of bells come Christmas time.

Lyrics (Excerpt):
Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold,

Music Sheet: Free sheet music for piano and flute