The ancient choir

King’s College (Cambridge) has a glorious choir, comprised of 16 boys aged 7-13 and 10 adults. It was founded in — get ready — 1441 by King Henry VI of England. It’s famous for its “Nine Lessons and Carols,” performed and broadcast throughout the world on Christmas Eve via the BBC. The Lessons have been broadcast annually since 1928 with one exception (1930) via radio and televised since 1954.

Here the choir sings a lively “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” The song is no spring chicken either; it was first mentioned in a book of dances published in 1589. It was first published with the current lyrics in 1924.