“Had it not been paired to Mendelssohn’s tune, it might not be the banger we love today,” she said.
“Hark!,” which released its first episode Nov. 24, is diving into a new carol each week leading up to Christmas.
Its first few episodes have focused on popular hymns and church music, such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Discussions include the origins of each carol, its composition and its religious and cultural significance.
Which songs will be featured in the future is being kept under wraps for now, Van Dorn said, though she noted there are clues at the end of each episode.
Along the way, the host has asked guests why they believe Christmas carols are so beloved, so widely known and evoke such strong opinions — including what can be classified as a Christmas carol and when it’s appropriate to sing them.
One popular response she’s received: nostalgia. Many people grew up listening to them with their families and have a host of happy memories associated with the songs.
They’ve also passed into the popular culture — often covered by mainstream artists, featured on movie soundtracks and played ad nauseam in stores and on radio stations during the holiday season.
Plus, Van Dorn said, “They’re just really good songs.”
This article originally appeared here.