The sound of Christmas is like no other. There is no other time when we depend so much on songs. I don’t think we could remember Christmas half so well if we did not have them. For it is well known that this is what songs do, they unlock memory. Songs are used for this in every culture – used to hold on to what is essential and precious, to pass the stories across the generations. No doubt the scriptures do the same. We read again every year this unforgettable story in unfathomable depth and power, from these rich and ancient pages. I would not be without them. Yet I’m mindful that a full generation passed - or more - before the first accounts of Jesus were written down as gospels. There must have been songs before that.