Christmas is around the corner, it’s time to start playing those Christmas songs and truly get into the Christmas spirit. Have you ever wondered if everyone around the world listens to the same songs? Is a German family singing the same songs than a polish family or someone in Australia? Do the songs sound better in other languages?
There are indeed songs that are known around the world such as ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ or ‘Silent Night’. If you spend Christmas in Poland people would sing ‘Cicha noc, święta noc’ whereas in Germany you would hear ‘Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!’ instead of ‘Silent night, holy night’. You probably wouldn’t understand the lyrics but you would definitely recognise the melody and be able to hum the melody along with everyone else. Like silent night, many other Christmas songs originate from the church.
Many songs from the United States sound much happier and more joyful which might explain the popularity. I believe that the reason for this is that the most popular American Christmas songs are either from a time when Jazz was the most popular type of music or the current posters trying to break into the classic holiday music market. Honestly, would you rather sing joyful Jingle Bells or a melancholic church song?
Lots of countries celebrate Christmas in Winter so we find that most songs are related to the cold weather and snow. White Christmas and Dashing Through The Snow are just two examples. What about the countries that celebrate Christmas in summer sing about? In Mexico, for example, would rather sing ‘Feliz navidad’ while trying too hit a with sweets filled piñata. On the other side of the pond in Australia they sing their own version of Jingle Bells accurately titles the Aussie Jingle Bells while enjoying the summer heat, barbecues and driving through the bush in a rusty Holden ute.
Without further ado here are some of the best Christmas songs from around the world to get you into the Christmas spirit!
Song — Oh Christmas Tree
This song is sung all over the world. In English speaking countries you will sing ‘Oh Christmas Tree’, in Germany you would sing ‘O Tannenbaum’ and in Spanish you would sing ‘Qué verdes son’. When listening to Christmas songs from around the world you will start to recognise the melodies being used, ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ is definitely one of the more international Christmas songs with translations into most languages. For me, German is one of the best languages to sing ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ with family and friends around Christmas time.
Song — Silent Night
This song is another one that has been translated into most languages throughout the world and depending on where you are the style of the song can change. Some countries who follow the church style of music will be singing a melancholic version of the song while those who celebrate Christmas with lively music will have a dance vibe to the song. In English you would sing ‘Silent night, Holy night’, if you’re spending Christmas in Poland people would sing ‘Cicha noc, święta noc’ whereas in Germany you would hear ‘Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!’ and in Spanish speaking countries you would sing ‘ noche de amor, noche de amor’. This song was originally played in a church in Austria on Christmas Eve in 1818. From there it found it’s way all around the globe.
Song — Aussie Jingle Bells
With the Northern hemisphere spending Christmas in cold weather where the songs like ‘Dashing Through The Snow’ actually make sense, people in Australia are experiencing the beginnings of the summer heatwaves. Since most Christmas songs sing about winter, snow and generally cold times some creative Australians have rewritten Jingle Bells in an Aussie style that every Australian can relate to in one way or another.
Song — Snow Candy
This popular song from Korea sounds like it’s been heavily influenced by popular music from around the world and mostly in the Kpop style which South Korea is famous for. With a lively atmosphere and beat to get everyone on their feet dancing.
Song — Feliz Navidad
A Christmas song for the bilingual people among us. This song uses both Spanish and English with a fun, so it’s perfect for people learning either language can sing along to both. It’s easy to understand and with approximately 20 words there isn’t much effort to learn both languages to help singing this song.
Modern Christmas Songs:
Of course the best and well known Christmas songs were composed and recorded many years ago but there are plenty of new modern artists redoing Christmas songs to suit todays musical culture.
Song — All I Want For Christmas Is You
Artist — Mariah Carey
A song about wanting to be with your one true love during the holidays … is there a better way to spend the holiday season?
Song — Last Christmas
Artist — Wham
Although this is a song about lost love it still has a great Christmassy atmosphere, this song has the hallmarks of a great Christmas hit from the beginning through to the end. This song has been covered by many other popular artists such as Taylor Swift and Coldplay.
Song — Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Artist — Jackson 5
There are plenty of different versions of this song so there is no reason why you won’t find the perfect one for you! For me, it has to be the Jackson 5 and their funky version of this classic tune.
What do you think of these Christmas songs? Do you have any favourites? Please share in the comment section below!