It’s hard to imagine the Christmas season without the television classics, movies and music we associate with it. It’s a wonderful Life, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Clause is Coming to Town are just few favorites that come to mind. Music brings Christmas to life and is in many ways the canvas on which the season is painted.
A Brief History:
Music was one of the first features of the Christmas season. The first chants and hymns were done in Latin and were considered too theological for popular use. The 13th century brought the rise of the carol, from the Greek word choraulein, which means a dance performed to flute music. The word later came to mean a song in which a religious topic is treated in a festive style. This style of music soon spread throughout Europe and became one of the greatest tributes to the Christmas holiday.
In 1647 the British Commonwealth declared singing Christmas carols as pagan and sinful because of its 13th century pagan roots. Puritans agreed and worked through the holiday. In 1660 King Charles restored the Stuarts of Scotland to the throne and Christmas caroling resumed and celebrations were revived.
Christmas music and entertainment are features of the Christmas season people worldwide look forward to every year. Styles of music, television specials and movies produce a very long list. There are a number of traditional songs that are performed worldwide in many languages and genres. Some have a religious context, some a winter context and some are associated with film and other entertainment mediums. Many songs have been written about Santa Claus himself. Not to be outdone, even Rudolph and Frosty have their own themes songs.
Whether you’re a lover of Jazz, Rock, Soul, Pop, Traditional, Country, Blues, Gospel, classical or one of the hundreds of genres of music around the globe, you might recognize a few of the songs below. You might even recognize a favorite Christmas television show or movie.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Traditional Christmas Songs
“Hark! the Herald Angels Sing!”
“The First Noel”
“Joy to the World”
“It Came upon a Midnight Clear”
“God Rest You Merry Gentlemen”
“Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”
“O Holy Night”
“We Three Kings of Orient Are”
“What Child Is This”
“Deck the Halls”
“Away in a Manger”
“O Little Town of Bethlehem”
“O Come All Ye Faithful”
Most Performed Songs
“The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“Let is Snow”
“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
“Jingle Bell Rock”
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
“Little Drummer Boy”
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
“Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”
“Frosty the Snowman”
“A Holly Jolly Christmas”
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
“Here Comes Santa Claus”
“It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas”
“Home for the Holidays”
“Carol of the Bells”
The Best-Selling Christmas/Holiday Albums from 1991-2007
Miracles: The Holiday Album/Kenny G.
These Are Special Times/Celine Dion
Merry Christmas/Mariah Carey
Christmas in the Aire/Mannheim Steamroller
Fresh Aire Christmas/Mannheim Steamroller
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas/Mannheim Steamroller
Now That’s What I Call Christmas! Various Artists
When My Heart Finds Christmas/Harry Connick Jr.
Faith: A Holiday Album/Kenny G.
Christmas Television Classics
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty The Snowman
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The Little Drummer Boy
A Christmas Carol
A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Year Without A Santa Claus
It’s A Wonderful Life
The Polar Express
Miracle on 34th Street
The Family Stone
The Bishop’s Wife/Remake: The Preacher’s Wife
The Nativity Story
Deck the Halls
A Christmas Carol
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation