O Holy Night is still nation’s favourite carol

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O Holy Night has once again triumphed as the nation’s favourite Christmas carol.

The piece, which dates back to 1847, topped an annual poll by radio station Classic FM.

O Holy Night has regularly topped the countdown since 2003. A year earlier it came only third with Silent Night leading the field, but went on to get a boost when it was performed by Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus.

Figures such as Mariah Carey and Aled Jones have recorded popular versions of the song and it is a choral favourite.

O Holy Night was written by Placide Clappeau, a wine merchant and mayor of Roquemaure, France, while Adolphe Adam, a composer best known for his ballet Giselle, wrote the music. An English translation was created by John Sullivan Dwight in 1855.

Silent Night was the runner-up in the 2012 poll, while In the Bleak Mid-Winter – the Gustav Holst version – was third.

The full countdown of the top 30 carols will be broadcast in a Christmas Day programme – The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Carols – presented by John Brunning from 1pm.

Mr Brunning said: “Many of the most memorable tunes anywhere in music belong to Christmas carols.”