Merry Christmas – But It’s “The First Nowell” And There Are No “Merry Gentlemen”

I have a perverse affection for columns, such as The first Nowell complaint led to merry laughter by Eric Zorn (Chicago Tribune: Dec 14 , 2006), that debunk assumptions. In this case, the actual lyrics and meaning of some familiar Christmas carols, including the one I’ve always (mistakenly, as it turns out) thought was titled “The First Noel,” are set forth. Besides, how often do I ever adorn a link to the Trib with something complimentary? That’s gotta be worth something when Santa peruses his Naughty and Nice List.

Note: I am republishing selected posts from my former site here on This entry was originally posted Dec 16, 2006.

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