Book Review: Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins

December 24, 2010


Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas” by Ace Collins (Website) is a short book, divided into sections, each corresponding to a beloved Christmas song. The book is arranged alphabetically and includes lyrics to most of the songs.

  • 192 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Zondervan
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0310239265

Book Review: Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins
My rating for Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas – 2
A perfect Christmas gift – Buy it here*
More Books by Ace Collins*


I was looking forward to read “Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas”, not only to get into the holiday spirit but also because I love this type of books since my childhood. These short stories filled with charming facts and little unknown tidbits were always fascinating to me.

Not to mention a great resource in case I’ll be on “Jeopardy” one day.

The premise of this book is quite interesting, that is telling the history of each carol or Christmas song. Mr. Collins is a good writer and makes the stories he writes about engaging and easy to read, but he lacks some serious research. The core fact of what the author is describing are woven with information which cannot be verified (such as putting thoughts in people’s heads) or is simply misleading (I did some fact checking and found conflicting information). If the information is not wrong well, the reader is out of luck because there are absolutely no sources at the end.

I will grant the author that most of the stories he tells are legitimate and verifiable when one checks up on them but to mix fact and fiction only undermines the authors credibility.

For example, the author’s take on “Good King Wenceslas”, he mixes facts and legends into a simple narrative which could easily be taken as all pure fact and worst – be quoted from in the future. The piece about “Twelve Days of Christmas” (which accidentally I happen to look up) was taken out of an Internet page without any reasonable research.  The author claims that the “Twelve Days of Christmas” was some sort of coded reference but a 2 second search on Google using the term “Twelve Days of Christmas Origin” brought me to this page claiming it is false.


The book tells about 31 Christmas songs and carols including “Do You Hear what I Hear”, “G-d Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Jingle Bells’, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” and more. The titles are arrange alphabetically and most of the songs also include the lyrics.

Love Trivia? This Book is For YOU – Buy it now*
More Books by Ace Collins*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins


  • Alex Baugh December 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I have been meaning to look at this book in the library for ages, but never got to it. I only know a few things about Christmas songs – Silent Night is based on an old German drinking song, rewritten my Martin Luther. I’ll be Home for Christmas is a WW II song. I also have the 12 days as a coded song, which I tend to believe even though there are disputers to that theory.

    Thanks for this post which is very interesting.

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