A SOLIHULL man has traced the rich history of Christmas carols for a new book.
Anthony Avery has chosen 20 festive songs to include in the title and also delved into the stories behind each tune.
“In my family, carols have always been a big part of Christmas,” he said.
“We tend to gather around the tree and sing some, so the book will definitely be put into service this year - we won’t have to print them off the internet anymore.”
The book features the lyrics and sheet music for old favourites like The First Noel, Away in a Manger and I Saw Three Ships.
“I did enjoy researching the history of the carols, but I wanted to be careful not to get draw into speculation. Tracing some of the melodies can be quite hard, because some date back as far as the 16th century.
“There’s lots of rumours and stories about how they were composed - for example, people say that Silent Night sounds the way it does because there were mice in the organ.”
Having finished the Christmas collection, Anthony is now turning his attention to William Wordsworth - with a compilation of poems due out in the New Year.
* In the meantime, you can pick up Anthony’s Twenty Classic Christmas Carols from Solihull Waterstones or online at www.amazon.co.uk. It’s on sale for £5.99.