Wednesday, 20 December 2017

#ChristmasCarols & Seasonal Songs: In The Bleak Midwinter

Daily Constitutional Editor and Rock'n'Roll London Guide Adam takes a listen to some Christmas music and looks for London connections…

In the Bleak Midwinter

The lyric – originally a poem entitled A Christmas Carol – was written by Christina Rosetti (1830 - 1894) and first published in 1872 in Scribner's Monthly in the U.S.

It has been set to music on several occasions, most famously by Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934) in 1906; and by Harolde Darke, born in Highbury 1888.

Harold Darke's musical journey through London took him as organist to Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead and St Michael's Cornhill in the City of London. St Michael's is famed as the church that may have inspired Dickens in A Christmas Carol.

LW's Steve picks it as his favourite Christmas Carol…

"My favourite carol has to be In The Bleak Mid Winter. Ii's the 'snow on snow, snow on snow' that gets me. Takes some bravery as a writer to pen a line like that. Love it."

Steve guides the Wednesday & Saturday night outings of Jack the Ripper. He adds"

"Just a mention of Spitalfields Market which is looking wonderfully Christmassy just now and makes a glorious and uplifting finishing place for the end of the macabre telling of the Jack The Ripper murders!"


When you see him from a distance you think he's a roadie for a heavy metal band. And then he starts guiding and it's KA-BOOM. Which is by way of saying, all that business about him being London Walks' fizziest guide - I'll let you in on a secret - that's a piece of English understatement. Anything else? Yes, lots. He's a dashing actor, a playwright, a song writer and a musician.

Tomorrow… Joy to the World

Last week I asked London Walkers & London Walks Guides to pick their favourite seasonal music. Here's the finished playlist…

Christmas 2017 With London Walks…

On Christmas Day there are TWO London Walks: 

Walk up an appetite with The Christmas Morning 1660 Walk – meet at 11:00a.m by the big tree in Trafalgar Square

Walk off the pudding with The Christmas Day Charles Dickens Walk – meet by the big tree in Trafalgar Square at 2:00pm

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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