Community & Current Events

Quiz: How well do you know Christmas carols?

Quiz: How well do you know Christmas carols?

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Quiz: How well do you know Christmas carols?

1. What major error has been identified in the lyrics of fifteenth century carol "I Saw Three Ships"?
a) Ships never sail in threes  
b) Ships never sail on Christmas day
c) Bethlehem's port doesn't open in the morning   
d) Bethlehem has no port

2. What animal is mentioned in the refrain of "The Holly and the Ivy"?
a) Boar 
b) Deer 
c) Bear 
d) Lark

3. What beverage is being drunk in "Wassail! Wassail All Over the Town"?
a) Meade 
b) Wine 
c) Brown ale 
d) Whisky

4. Although all the wassail songs have the same general theme, none agree on what the cup or bowl is made of. In the best-known of these carols, "Here We Come a-Wassailing", the second verse describes the wassail cup as made of what?
a) Cedar branches 
b) Chestnut root 
c) Mulberry boughs 
d) The rosemary tree

5. Who are the two girls named in the carol "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella"?
a) Princesses     
b) Shepherdesses  
c) Milkmaids 
d) Friends of Mary

6. What is the French version of "Jingle Bells" called?
a) "Clac-clac-clac"  
b) "Vive le Vent" 
c) "Nuit d'hiver"
d) "Boule de Neige" 

7. Which French carol dating back perhaps as far as the sixteenth century is believed by some scholars to have been the inspiration for "The Little Drummer Boy"?
a) "Noël Nouvelet!"
b) "Dans Cette Etable"
c) "Pat-a-Pan"
d) "Quittez Pasteurs"

8. What carol of unknown origin was preserved only because a singer who was also a collector of folk songs paid a little girl 25 cents to sing it for him at the height of the Depression?
a) "I Wonder as I Wander"
b) "Mary, Did You Know?"
c) "Mary Had a Baby"
d) "Sing We the Virgin Mary"

9. In what year did two astronauts use a harmonica and sleigh bells to deliver a space rendition of "Jingle Bells"?
a) 1993 
b) 1986 
c) 1971 
d) 1965

10. In which European city was Handel's Messiah first performed?
a) London  
b) Berlin  
c) Vienna  
d) Dublin
11. Which English king is said to have created a tradition that continues to this day when he stood on hearing his first performance of the "Hallelujah Chorus"?
a) Henry VIII 
b) Charles II 
c) George II 
d) William of Orange

12. What carol's composer was the uncle of famed Wall Street financier J. P. Morgan?
a) "Jingle Bells"
b) "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
c) "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
d) "Ye Nations All, On You I Call"

13. In Bob and Doug Mackenzie's hit parody of the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", what do they substitute for the partridge in the pear tree?
a) A pound of back bacon  
b) A turtleneck  
c) A beer  
d) A comic book

14. In what unusual location was Richard Smith when he wrote the lyrics to the holiday favourite "Winter Wonderland" in 1934?
a) An amusement park   
b) A tuberculosis sanatorium 
c) A public restroom  
d) A grocery store check-out line

15. Which famous duet released the song "Christmas Eve Can Kill You" in 1972?
a) The Everley Brothers  
b) Sonny and Cher      
c) Captain and Tennille    
d) Donnie and Marie

16. How old was Gayla Peevey when she recorded the novelty song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" in 1953?
a) 6       
b) 8       
c) 10       
d) 12

17. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the earliest Canadian carol to be published was probably J. P. Clarke's "A Canadian Christmas Carol."  In what year did it first appear?
a) 1653      
b) 1753      
c) 1853       
d) 1953

18. In the first verse of "The Boar’s Head Carol" which spices are said to bedeck the head?
a) Thyme and basil 
b) Bay and rosemary 
c) Mint and oregano 
d) Pepper and saffron

19. What popular medieval carol is sung by the clerk in "The Miller’s Tale," which is part of Geoffrey Chaucer's classic poem The Canterbury Tales?
a) "Verbum supernum, prodiens"
b) "Veni, Redemptor gencium"
c) "Criste, Redemptor omnium"
d) "Angelus ad Virginem"

20. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was introduced in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis, which was set in the time of the World’s Fair in that city. What year was it?
a) 1898 
b) 1903 
c) 1917 
d) 1939

1. d) Bethlehem has no port; 2. b) Deer; 3. c) Brown ale; 4. d) The rosemary tree; 5. c) Milkmaids; 6. b) "Vive le Vent";  7. c) "Pat-a-Pan"; 8. a) "I Wonder as I Wander" ; 9. d) 1965; 10. d) Dublin; 11. c) George II; 12. a) "Jingle Bells"; 13. c) A beer; 14. b) A tuberculosis sanatorium; 15. a) The Everley Brothers; 16. c) 10; 17. c) 1853; 18. b) Bay and rosemary; 19. d) "Angelus ad Virginem"; 20. b) 1903 

Excerpted from Quizmas Carols by Gordon Pape and Deborah Kerbel. Copyright 2007 Gordon Pape Enterprises Ltd. Excerpted with permission of Penguin Group (Canada).


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Quiz: How well do you know Christmas carols?