THE FIRST NOEL
This carol has about 36 verses and was written using a ropey rhyming dictionary (light/night, star/far – twice! – and presence/frankincense). It’ll draw smirks from your non-Christian friends. And probably even your Christian ones.
AWAY IN A MANGER
I’m not easily angered, but this carol makes me mad. It’s very sweet, but I can’t get over: ‘Little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes’. Of course he cried! Isn’t the point of the incarnation that he was fully human? I refuse to sing it, so at least it gives the congregation a break from my warbling.
WE THREE KINGS
Any carol with alternative comedy lyrics (all together now, ‘One in a taxi, one in a car...’) is best avoided, especially if your friends have arrived via the pub. That said, it’ll be the loudest they sing all night, even if it means one of the kings is envisioned ‘on a scooter, beeping his hooter’.