Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Christians Awake! Written for Daughter

One of the fascinating stories that I relate on my seasonal Guided Walk or talk entitled "Ding Dong Merrily on High" concerns the well known carol "Christians Awake!"

The talk or walk looks at the background to everybody`s favourite Christmas carols.

In the mid 19th century, Dr John Byrom of Stockport near Manchester asked his daughter what she would like for Christmas. Dr Byrom, incidentally, was a particularly clever man who devised an early form of shorthand.

His daughter, however, didn`t really want anything much. But her father continued to ask, and eventually she exclaimed "Oh, write me a song!"

And that is exactly what he did, and sang "Christians Awake!" to her on the morning of 25th December.

What must have been even more special was when the following year the choir of the parish church sang the song on Christmas morning outside her window.