Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Carol of the Bells: Shchedryk

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So do any of you know where the Christmas song "Carol of the Bells" came from?

While searching for a special Ukrainian immigrant culture in the United States, I have found that
The “Carol of the Bells,” a classic American Christmas song, was first introduced to American audiences by a Ukrainian choir on Oct. 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall, NY. The original song was written by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych as a New Year's Chant and was called Shchedryk (comes from the word, bountiful, in Ukrainian). The original Ukrainian text is based on the tale of a swallow flying into a household to proclaim the plentiful and bountiful year that the family will have. It was later adapted in English by Peter Wilhousky.

Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych was a famous Ukrainian composer, choral director and a world-renowned teacher. After the Ukraine's Independence in 1918, he taught at the Kiev Conservatory and Mykola Lysenko Institute of Music and Drama. However, he was tragically murdered by a Soviet State Security agent during the night of Jan. 21-22, 1921.

Here is a clip of an original song in Ukraine (found in Youtube):

And here is the English version (also from Youtube):

more info:

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