Christmas carols: Noel nouvelet
The text of this traditional French carol dates to at least the 15th century, but we have no record of the tune until the 17th century. However, the first five notes are the same as the plainsong "Ave Maria Stella," which gives the tune an older feel.
The title of the song means "Christmas news" and the text tells the story of Jesus' birth, the wise men's visit, and of Simeon the Righteous who held baby Jesus in the Jewish temple. In English, the song is generally sung as "Christmas Comes Anew" or as "Now the Green Blade Riseth," the latter being more appropriate for Easter.
An a capella version
Unknown group, 2008:
Another a capella version, with more of a Gregorian chant feel.
Jubilate Bronze, 2008:
There is a handbell orchestration of this song which is apparently taking the handbell choir world by storm, because I found about a dozen versions of this on YouTube. I picked the best of the bunch to show you, here, plus a different handbell orchestration as a bonus video.
Bonus: Lynn Andersen, accompanied by Mark Andersen, 2007:
Unfortunately, I can't embed this one, but if you know anything about handbell choirs, you'll be pretty impressed.