Most of us are familiar with the Christmas songs that are popular in our own countries, but there are countless holiday tunes that many of us have never heard. Music, like food, has the means to bring even the most diverse individuals together. Today we’ll look at (and listen to) some Christmas music from across the globe, here are 10 carols that you ought to know.
10 Best Christmas Songs from Around the World You Haven’t Heard
Petit Papa Noël – France
Tino Rossi, a French singer, released Petit Papa Noel or “Little Father Christmas” in 1946. Over 30 million copies have been sold globally since its first release. With almost 5,711,000 copies sold, it is presently the best-selling song of all time in France. It has been recorded by a number of musicians, including Josh Groban in 2007.
Ang Pasko ay Sumapit – Philippines
Ang Pasko ay Sumapit is a classic Filipino Christmas carol that translates literally as “Christmas is Here.” Written in the 1950s by national singer Levi Celerio.
In the Philippines, we start celebrating Christmas as early as September, and Ang Pasko ay Sumapit is the go-to song while going “Caroling,” a Philippine tradition in which children carolers or even church choirs sing Christmas songs while bouncing from house to house. It’s a sign that Christmas is quickly approaching.
Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Pampanga
Also known as “Ligligan Parul” is an annual event that takes place during the month of December, which is the Christmas season in the Philippines.
Circenīša Ziemassvētki – Latvia
Circenīša Ziemassvētki, or “A Cricket’s Christmas,” is a popular Latvian and Russian lullaby from the 1980 seven-part feature film “A long road in the dunes” (“Ilgais ce kps”/”ола дороа в днаx”), a drama set in Latvia that chronicles the lives of its protagonists from 1939 until roughly 1970.
The wonderful melodies, it isn’t the most cheerful Christmas song as accompany this story of a dialogue between a mother and her son, making it a unique contribution to this list of the finest Christmas songs from across the world. To divert her child’s attention away from his hunger, the mother describes the beauty of the full moon and promises a future filled with toys.
La Fiesta de Pilito – Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is well-known for its fantastic dancing and celebratory music. It should come as no surprise that they provide delightful festive music. El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, a salsa ensemble based in San Juan, famously recorded La Fiesta de Pilito in 1985. The title of the song translates to “Pilito’s Party.”
Talj talj – Lebanon
Many people are unaware that Lebanon has snow and that there are ski resorts within the country. “Talj” means “snow” in Arabic, and this song reveals how much people all across the world like the cold weather.
Talj, Talj, popularized in the 1960s by famous artist Fairuz, was a Christmas classic long ago. The song recounts the story of the birth of Jesus as “snow is falling on the world.”
Wexford Carol – Ireland
The Wexford Carol, which goes back to the 12th century, is well-known across Ireland. It recalls the tale of Mary, her journey to Bethlehem, and Christ’s birth. The song became famous in the 1800s and is even included in the Oxford Book of Carols. It was initially published in 1928 and is still often used as a source of carols by choirs and church congregations in the United Kingdom.
O Du Fröhliche – Germany
O du fröliche translates to “O, you joyous,” and relates the tale of Jesus’ birth.
This traditional German Christmas carol was written in the early 1800s and has a tragic and joyous origin. Johann Daniel Falk, the lyrics’ author, lost four of his seven children to typhoid fever. As a result, he opened an orphanage and dedicated ‘O du fröliche’ to the orphans.
In Protestant churches throughout Germany, this carol is traditionally sung at the conclusion of Christmas Eve services.
Betelehemu – Nigeria
Betelehemu is a West African carol, a remarkable piece written in the 1960s by Nigerian drummer and social activist Babatunde Olatunji. During the Christmas season, choirs all across the world play this cheerful Yoruba song, which is sometimes accompanied by drumming and dance.
The words are simple, praising the Father’s glory and grace in allowing his Son to be born in Bethlehem.
Räven Raskar Över Isen – Sweden
Räven Raskar Över Isen, an old Swedish folk song that translates to “the fox hurries across the ice,” appears to be the favorite holiday dance song, and Swedes sing it while dancing around Christmas tree or the Midsummer pole. There are various renditions of the classic, including one produced by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency that takes climate change into account by rewriting the words so that the fox swims across the lake due to a lack of ice.
The song’s origins are undetermined, however, an early recording was produced in Stockholm in May 1925 by Margareta Schömström.
Musevisa – Norway
Musevisa or “The Mouse Song” is a 1946 Norwegian Christmas song by singer-songwriter Alf Prøysen. The tune is a traditional Norwegian folk tune about a family of mice that are getting ready for Christmas. The Mama Mouse specifically warns her youngsters to stay away from the mousetrap. It became popular very quickly in Norway.
Will any of these carols make it onto your holiday playlist of “Best Christmas Songs from Around the World?” Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!