Composers like Gustav Holst (see Day 13), Ralph Vaughan Williams and many others would scour the country to pick up and use in their music the tunes sung by ordinary people going about their everyday lives.

Out of the ordinary and earthy would come the most beautiful tunes, songs that expressed the often harsh realities of life as well as the joys. Christmas speaks of transforming Love coming to us in the real world. It is a love that reaches deep within. No wonder on Christmas Night… not just all Christians but the whole creation… SINGS!

Listen to Maddy Prior sing the Sussex Carol, a tune Vaughan Williams heard being sung by people in Horsham, Sussex.

Malcolm’s Musical Advent Calendar for Tuesday 19 December