A Ukrainian Carol

The origin of “Carol of the Bells” was known before but it has recently gotten a lot of attention, no doubt partly due to the invasion of Ukraine by its larger neighbor. The music was written by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych and the lyrics were written by a Ukrainian-American named Peter Wilhousky. From Wikipedia:

The song was first performed by students at Kyiv University in December 1916, but the song lost popularity in Ukraine shortly after the Soviet Union took hold. It was introduced to Western audiences by the Ukrainian National Chorus during its 1919 concert tour of Europe and America, where it premiered in the United States on October 5, 1922, to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall.

NPR has more about the song here.

Mannheim Steamroller first appeared on the holiday music scene in 1984, although founder Chip Davis had been making records beginning in 1975. They’ve produced several albums of Christmas music. This is “Carol of the Bells,” from their 2004 compilation album “Christmas Celebration.”