From the recording Comfort & Joy

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The origin of this song is a Ukrainian folk song entitled "Shchedryk" that actually celebrates the coming of Spring and tells of a sparrow who proclaims a bountiful year for a family. Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (1877-1921) composed his version of the tune in 1916. Peter J. Wilhousky (1902-1978) heard this new melody based on a traditional folk song and wrote his own lyrics in 1936, changing it from a song of Spring to the sound of bells, possibly based on the Slavic legend that all the bells of the world rang the night of the birth of Jesus.