These songs are from the old Christmas music site, and may be re-recorded or remixed in the future.

  • #47: O Christmas Tree#47: O Christmas Tree
    The practice of decorating Christmas trees seems to have originated during the Middle Ages in Germany, when people would hang fruit, nuts, sweets, and paper flowers all over the tree for children to enjoy.  A legend was also born around … Continue reading#47: O Christmas…
  • #42: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day#42: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
    It was a time of intense sorrow and despair in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s life. His wife had tragically died in a fire in 1861. The American Civil War had just broken out, and his oldest son Charles had decided to … Continue reading#42: I Heard…
  • #38: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing#38: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
    Felix Mendelssohn composed the tune to this song in 1840, but the original tune was a solemn one written by Charles Wesley at the inception of the carol one hundred years earlier in 1739. The lyrics have changed as well. … Continue reading#38: Hark! the…
  • #31: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer#31: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    Johnny Marks created an undeniable hit with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” when Gene Autry debuted it in New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 1949. The star of one of the best-selling and most-recorded Christmas songs of all time, Rudolph … Continue reading#31: Rudolph the…
  • #29: Frosty the Snowman#29: Frosty the Snowman
    A young boy just out of high school, Gene Autry worked in a railway telegraph office in a Midwest Oklahoma town. Occasionally he’d pluck away at his guitar and sing during slow days. One night, a stranger appeared, listened while … Continue reading#29: Frosty the…
  • #27: Santa Claus is Coming to Town#27: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
    Everyone knows what happens if you pout or cry around Christmastime: Santa Claus passes you by, that’s what. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie in 1934. Coots had been writing material … Continue reading#27: Santa Claus…
  • #25: Silent Night#25: Silent Night
    On December 24, 1818, the carol “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant … Continue reading#25: Silent Night
  • #23: Happy Xmas#23: Happy Xmas
    “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” was recorded by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band in late October 1971, with the help of producer Phil Spector. It features soaring, heavily echoed vocals, and a sing-along chorus. The children … Continue reading#23: Happy Xmas
  • #21: O Come All Ye Faithful#21: O Come All Ye Faithful
    The text to “O Come All Ye Faithful” was originally written in Latin (“Adeste Fideles”) and is attributed to John Francis Wade, an 18th-century hymnist. It was first published in a collection known as “Cantus Diversi” in 1751. The original … Continue reading#21: O Come…
  • #18: White Christmas#18: White Christmas
    Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas” in the early 1940s, reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. Bing Crosby made this song famous, and his single has been credited with selling 50 million copies, the most by any release. Even the Guinness … Continue reading#18: White Christmas
  • #15: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel#15: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
    The words to “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” are a translation of the Catholic Latin text “Veni, veni, Emmanuel” by John Mason Neale in the mid-19th century. Their origins are very old indeed, and may date as far back as … Continue reading#15: O Come,…
  • #14: Jingle Bell Rock#14: Jingle Bell Rock
    “Jingle Bell Rock” was written by Joe Beal, a New England-born public relations man, in 1957. It’s in the “rockabilly” style, and was written during a time when rock-and-roll was coming on strong and casting its new rhythmic vitality over … Continue reading#14: Jingle Bell…
  • #13: Joy to the World#13: Joy to the World
    The words to the triumphant song “Joy to the World” are by English hymn writer Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. The song was first published in 1719. Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” … Continue reading#13: Joy to…
  • #12: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas#12: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
    You may know Meredith Wilson as the composer of the Broadway hit The Music Man in 1957, but before that in 1951 he had already achieved success with “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Perry Como and The … Continue reading#12: It’s Beginning…
  • #11: Let It Snow!#11: Let It Snow!
    “Let It Snow!” was written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in July 1945 in Hollywood, California during one of the hottest days on record. First recorded by Vaughn Monroe on October 31, 1945, it became a popular … Continue reading#11: Let It…
  • #10: Coventry Carol#10: Coventry Carol
    The “Coventry Carol” is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th Century. The carol was performed in Coventry as part of a play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two … Continue reading#10: Coventry Carol
  • #9: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas#9: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
    “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was introduced in 1944 by Judy Garland in the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, “a love of a film” as one critic put it. Frank Sinatra later recorded a version with modified lyrics, … Continue reading#9: Have Yourself…
  • #7: Christmas Shoes#7: Christmas Shoes
    “The Christmas Shoes” is based on a story passed around on the Internet. Eventually it was forwarded to a member of the Christian vocal group NewSong in 1996. They worked on the song for four years and eventually released it … Continue reading#7: Christmas Shoes
  • #6: We Three Kings of Orient Are#6: We Three Kings of Orient Are
    In 1857, John Henry Hopkins, Jr., assembled an elaborate Christmas pageant. He wrote both words and music for the General Theological Seminary in New York City, where he was an instructor in church music. One of the selections dealt with … Continue reading#6: We Three…
  • #5: O Little Town of Bethlehem#5: O Little Town of Bethlehem
    Phillips Brooks, one of 19th-century America’s best-loved preachers, was ministering to a Philadelphia church when he wrote his now-famous verses at Christmastime in 1868, three years after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was inspired by the nighttime view … Continue reading#5: O Little…