“Carol of the Bells” is a Ukrainian Christmas carol. The song was written for the New Year’s celebration, which was originally celebrated in April. The original title translates to “the generous one” and refers to a swallow flying to a household to proclaim the bountiful upcoming year. When Christianity spread to Ukraine, the New Year’s celebration shifted to January close to the Russian Christmas (January 7). Peter Wilhousky rearranged the song and wrote lyrics around the theme of bells, as the melody reminded him of church bells. The new arrangement was first aired during the Great Depression with NBC’s Symphony Orchestra. The song was popularly recorded starting in the 1940s, including a television ad in the 1970s by the Swingle Singers, directed by Ward Swingle, whose daughter Kathryn Swingle is a Choir of the Sound member.