30 Best Christmas Carols To Make Celebrations Special

Wear your Christmas hats and sing carols!

Genia Giri

Dec 16, 2020|6 min read


Cakes-candles-carols- Everything about Christmas is so exciting! Isn’t it? We keep waiting for this day for the whole year and finally when the day arrives our social sites flourish with pictures of the celebration. 

Christmas carols undoubtedly play a major role in gearing up the whole stage to celebrate. They signify the birth of Jesus and the history of Christmas and wraps the winter season with its warmth and delightfulness. 

Anytime you hear them, the holiday celebration vibe kicks in. And as we continue making plans, from the best topping on the cake to best Christmas tree decoration, do we miss anything? So when it comes to Christmas carols, we definitely need the best! Christmas Carols instantly sets the Christmas mood and our mind lits up with abundant joy! 

1. Silent night

Carols can even bring world wars into a halt! Yes! During the 1st world war, both the German and English troops sang this carol together and declared Christmas truce. It is perfectly calm and composed Christmas carol to begin your festival with!

2. O Holy Night

This Christmas carol signifies the holy birth of Jesus and the consequent redemption of humanity. “O Holy Night” was aimed to be a festive french poem but was finally produced as a carol.

3. O Come All Ye Faithful

Not much is known about the music composers and lyricists, the lyrics are even not so pleasing, yet this carol sets the Christmas mood rightly. This Christmas carol was later shown to be played by a symphony orchestra in the film Home Alone 2:Lost In New York. 

4. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,

Since Christianity dates back to the Latin origin, many of the English Christmas carols have their different linguistic origins. Few English and Latin words sound similar to this particular music.

5. O Little Town Of Bethlehem

Fascinated by the scenic beauty of Bethlehem, the holy birthplace of Jesus, Rector Phillips Broke decided to compose a hymn. Later this hymn was accompanied with music and was produced as a Christmas carol.

6. 12 Days of Christmas

This Christmas carol is going to lift your Christmas spirit and convey a hidden moral at the same time. The narrator/singer expresses her delight in receiving the twelve aesthetic gifts during Christmas. 

7. I saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)

A melodious and energetic Christmas carol unfolding the mystery of three ships sailing to the shore. Even though the words like “Christmas” and “tree” are clear, it's unclear what ships carried or sailed with. 

8. Joy To The World

Most of us have performed on this song during our school time Christmas celebration. A traditional Christmas carol that glorifies the birth of Lord Jesus and brings abundant joy.  

9. O Christmas Tree

"O Christmas Tree. O Christmas Tree” the first lines are enough to ignite the festive spirit in us. Consider this Christmas carol as an invitation to put up your red hats and start decorating Christmas trees.

11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Not all Christmas carols are fun and thrill. This carol is a special one of those traditional carols that fills one’s mind with warmth and calmness.

12. Coventry Carol

During the 16th century, England was almost devoid of any male minor or infant. In order to kill baby Jesus, King Herod finished all male children under age 2. The lyrics of this Christmas carol describes that “massacre of innocents”.

13. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

The lyrics of this Christmas carol indicates the concepts of war and peace as the dual side of one coin. Arthur Sullivan’s English melody was modified and used in this song.

14. Once In A Royals David’s City

Another poem later transformed into a Christmas carol. Produced during the 19th century, this carol displays the beauty of the native land.

15. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman

One of the few Christmas carols that seems like a tragic forecast, bringing all sad memories of loneliness amidst the great festival of Christmas.

16. Away In A Manger

“Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay”- a popular Christmas carol among the children. William J Kirkpatrick adapted the melody from Jonathan E.Spilman who originally composed the melody used in this song. 

17. Sussex Carol

Sung at Sussex, this carol was first composed in 1684. In the late 1800s, this Christmas carol gathered a lot of fame when Ralph Vaughan Williams added the word ‘Sussex” to the carol.

18. Shepherd’s Pipe Carol

John Rutter composed this carol when he was in school. This Christmas carol reflects the incident of a shepherd boy piping on his way to see baby Jesus at Bethlehem and celebrates the birth of Jesus.

19. Angels From The Realms Of Glory

Composed and produced almost 200 yrs ago, this Christmas carol was first printed on the Christmas eve of 1816. Melodious and beautiful till date, the original poem was written by Scottish poet James Montgomery and was later composed as a carol with music.

20. Candlelight Carols

Another popular Christmas carol by John Rutter. Pleasant and soothing, this carol typically speaks how John Rutter has nailed it when it comes to music composition.

21. The Holly And The Ivy

A popular Christmas carol believed to bring luck. Initially, this song is inspired by the hope that the singers can overcome the difficult winter months of Holly and Ivy.

22. Ding Dong! Merrily On High

This Christmas carol finds its mention in the dance book by Jehan Tabourot. The bell-ringing rythm is critical of the festive mood and the chorus tune appears as a secular dance tune.

23. Carol of the Bells

The original Ukrainian song “The Little swallow” earned its name when it was modified into a Christmas carol for the 1990 film Home Alone by John Williams.

24. See Amid The Winter’s Snow

Written by Edward Caswall and composed with Sir John Goss’s music, this 19th century Christmas carol is also known as the “Hymn For Christmas Day”. This carol signifies the brighter days ahead of the cold winter snow.

25. The Little Drummer Boy

If you have no one to celebrate your Christmas with or just left lonely with a Christmas tree, just play this Christmas carol and feel the adrenaline rush. The drumming beats won’t let you sit. A popular carol, especially for the drummers, this is surely a favourite.

26. We Three Kings Of Orient Are

A look back to the pages of the Bible- three kings who gifted gold, frankincense, myrrh to Jesus during his birth. It's interesting when a Christmas carol is encapsulated with a story or incident about Jesus’s birth.

27. Deck The Halls

An ideal Christmas carol that justifies the Christmas spirit and is full of life, enjoyment and excitement. This carol displays the modern ways of holiday fun- dressing up, applying to makeup, window shopping, singing, decorating and all that should be a part of the celebration.

28. Jesus Christ The Apple Tree

Just like the composer or author of this carol, the meaning of the lyrics is also not clear. The first line is alluring - “Jesus Christ The Apple Tree” can be the apple tree in the song of Solomon interpreting Christ or the tree of human life written in Luke’s gospel. Still, this song is a popular Christmas carol around the world and sung in chorus.

29. Gaudete

Dating back to the late 16th century this Christmas carol is probably the oldest carol found till date. But the melody seems to hail from the ancient ages! Composed originally in Latin, the first lines when translated to English means- “Rejoice, Jesus is born from the Virgin Mary! Rejoice!”

30. What Sweeter Music

John Rutter composed this carol for the choir of King’s College, Cambridge with Robert Heriicks’s lyrics. This initial college performance is now broadcasted around the world during the Christmas eve.

Christmas carols are the essence of the Christmas festival. Throughout the occasion, they remind us of our Christmas celebration during our school, keep fueling the Christmas spirit even after Christmas is gone. It’s not Christmas if you are not playing Christmas carols.

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