Raspberry Pi Pico Christmas caroller: name that tune!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – a time when our inboxes are aflutter with festive Pi projects. There are too many to choose from so I have gone with this Raspberry Pi Pico Christmas caroller for the sole purpose of sharing excerpts from an impossibly long conversation between Liz and Helen as they tried to outdo each other in the fight to be crowned Superior Classical Music Guesser.

Thanks so much to the maker Khmer Reyes. As you will see, those two really did have a ton of fun guessing all the music you chose. And while they were a bit forthright about the, er, musicality of the tunes, that’s no criticism of Khmer — it’s true the piezo buzzer used for this cheap and cheerful entertainment doesn’t allow for much in the way of sound quality, but that was never the point.

Spoiler alert: If you want to try and guess which tunes are playing for yourself, don’t scroll any further. Just hit play on the video below and see how you do. There are 18 to identify.

Sound UP, game face ON

What is happening?

Here, I present highlights from the stream of consciousness as Liz and Helen tried to guess the answers

Helen: We’ve just had an amazing email into comms@. Don’t read the comments if you want to do the guessing, just click through to the video.

Helen: Not all of them are actually Christmas songs, though most are, and the two that aren’t are very well known.

Liz: This is hilarious and we should definitely inflict it on the rest of the world. It was fun to identify everything. We could do a ‘Name That Tune’ quiz.

Helen: Carol of the Bells is an incredibly difficult choice as an opener. But if you’re not put off, there are some good easy ones later on.

Liz: Number 10 is Greensleeves. Why Greensleeves?

Me: What is happening and do I get to write up a Christmas blog already because I am totally here for that.

Helen: Number 11 – no idea.

Helen: And 12 – nope, I’ve go nothing.

Liz: 16 is Silent Night (NOT SILENT ENOUGH IF YOU ASK ME).

Liz: Oh god there’s more.

Helen: After Greensleeves is As with Gladness, and I had to find a proper recording to check because it did something odd and horrible to my brain in this format.

Helen: And before Joy to the World it’s Veni, Veni which I only got because it’s one of my fave carol melodies.


Helen: Oh, I misidentified Angels we Have Heard for Angels from the Realms. Good to clear that one up. Wrong angels. Right tune.

Helen: So correction, it’s not Angels from the Realms of Glory, it’s Angels we Have Heard on High, as correctly identified by Liz.


Helen: I like The Angel Gabriel.

Liz: Also In Dulci Jubilo

Helen: I like all of them, really. I was just thinking this morning that it will soon be a righteous time for carols. Advent starting as it does in November this year.

Liz: Bloody love carol season. I start on November 1st and have NO SHAME in doing so.

Helen: I know the alto part for very many of these. Think how far up the wall we can drive everyone, Liz.

Liz: I mean how else are the kids going to learn them all?

Helen: I’ve got not one but two copies of the green book.

Helen: Oh that’s true. You’re right. I should start earlier. I have been remiss in failing so to do.

Liz: Poor Ashley

Helen: Yes, poor Ashley.

The answers

If you’re still here, Helen has done us a solid and helpfully left this list of just the answers without any of the thrilling discussion. How did you do?

  1. Carol of the Bells
  2. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  3. Oh Holy Night
  4. Il est né le Divin Enfant
  5. Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
  6. Ode to Joy
  7. Ding Dong! Merrily on High
  8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  9. We Three Kings
  10. Greensleeves
  11. As with Gladness Men of Old
  12. Once in Royal David’s City
  13. Veni, veni Emmanuel
  14. Joy to the World
  15. Angels from the Realms of Glory
  16. Silent Night
  17. Jingle Bells
  18. Deck the Halls


Kevin McAleer avatar

Bloody love Greensleeves.
I think it’s a Christmasy tune because of the ‘What child is this’ carol that uses the same music. Great post Ash!

Helen Lynn avatar

Oh! Oh! I have NEVER come across that one. Thank you!

John avatar

Over here in western NY, USA; I knew “What child is this” long before I ever heard of the Lady Greensleeves… FWIW…
There are some songs in there I don’t know at all and one or two I might only know from some BBC import we might have _gotten_ on PBS.

Giuseppe avatar

Hey, that “sounds” like one of my old tutorial with Raspberry PI Pico and a passive buzzer. I get it playing Beethoven, but the MicroPython script can be used for any kind of music… here the link for anyone interested in making it at home: https://peppe8o.com/passive-buzzer-with-raspberry-pi-pico-and-micropython/

Helen Lynn avatar

Thanks very much, Giuseppe!

Gavin Holder avatar

I think one of my friends made the software for this, RPIMidi on github by MikeDEV101

Liz Upton avatar

Ha, that’s nice: small world!

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