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AO International Christmas Carols AmblesideOnline.org

AmblesideOnline International Christmas Carols

Wikipedia's List
European Carols Around the World

This is a sampling of traditional Christmas, Nativity, and Advent songs from around the world. Asterisks link to a YouTube video of that song, usually from that country. A full YouTube playlist (it plays for about 5 hours) of all of these songs is here

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of what all people groups around the world are singing in December. This is just a small taste of what different countries with a long Christian tradition have created and made part of their own musical nativity celebration. Not every culture has a traditional commemoration for the birth of Jesus, though they may have their own December holidays - Israel, for example, has Hanukkah and Africa has Kwanzaa. Christmas, except as an interesting American tradition, is largely unknown in India and China, and many of their "Christmas" songs are translations of secular American holiday songs. Some cultures, such as Hawai'i, have taken English/American songs and given them their own unique cultural flavor. Also, almost every culture has their own translations of songs that we as English speakers are familiar with - specifically, translations of Silent Night and Jingle Bells seem to be popular in every language. Compiling a collection of any of those would be its own worthwhile undertaking, but that is outside the scope of this particular project. If you are interested in pursuing other cultures' December celebrations, the internet is a great place to start. And please share your findings with the AO community via our forum or Facebook group!

There are 26 groupings here. By combining Greece, Canada and Switzerland (which only have a single song represented), you could use this as an Advent calendar, focusing on one group of songs per day of December.




Arabic Eid almilad karwl
Talj, Talj (Snow, Snow; composed by Fairuz) *
Ya Maryam el Bekr (O Virgin Mary; composed by Fairuz) *

Catalonia Nadala (northeastern Spain and adjoining parts of France)
Fum, Fum, Fum (Smoke, Smoke, Smoke?) *
El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the Birds) *
El Noi de la Mare (The Child of the Mother) * Carollers *

Croatia Božićna pjesma
Svim na Zemlji mir veselje (All on Earth, Peace, Joy) *
Oj, Pastiri, čudo Novo (Oy, Shepherds, a New Miracle) *
Narodi Nam Se Kralj Nebeski (King of Heavens Born Unto Us) * *

Czechoslovakia Vánoční koleda
Narodil se Kristus Pán (Jesus Christ Was Born) *
Nesem Vám Noviny (We Bring You Good News, Hark!) *
Půjdem Spolu do Betléma (We Will Go Together to Bethlehem) *

Holland/Netherlands Kerstlied
Nu Syt Wellekome (Jesus, You Are Welcome) *
Ere Zij God in Den Hoge (Glory to God in the Highest) * (Flashmob* )
Hoor de Wind Waait Door de Bomen (a Saint Nicholas song) *

England Christmas carols
The First Noel * Carollers *
Good King Wenceslas (A quintessential British song about a Bohemian king. . .) *
The Holly and the Ivy *

Philippines Pasko kanta
Ang Pasko ay Sumapit (Christmas Has Come) *
Pasko Na Naman (It's Christmas Again) * *
Namamasko (To The Householder We Greet; a popular carolling song) *

Finland Joululaulu
Enkeli Taivaan Lausui Näin (An Angel of the Lord) *
Varpunen Jouluaamuna (Sparrow on Christmas Morning) *
Sylvian Joululaulu (Sylvia's Christmas Song) *

France Noël
Il Est Né, le Divin Enfant (He is Born, the Heavenly Child) *
Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle (Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella) *
Entre le Boeuf et l'âne Gris (Between the Ox and the Grey Donkey) *

Galicia Música de Nadal (northwest Spain)
Nadal De Luíntra (Luintra Carol) *
Pois Que Dos Reys Nostro Sennor (Since Our Lord Chose to Descend from the Lineage of Kings; chant-like) *

Germany/Austria Weihnachtslieder
Es Ist Ein Ros' Entsprungen (A Rose Has Sprung Up) *
Still, Still, Still (Quiet, Quiet, Quiet) *
Alle Jahre Wieder (Every Year Again) *
Süßer die Glocken Nie Klingen (Sweet the Bells Never Sound) *
Stille Nachte (Silent Night) *
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her (From Heaven Above to Earth I Come; by Martin Luther) * *

Greece (Greece apparently only has one Christmas Carol, or Kalanta.)
Καλήν εσπέραν άρχοντες (Tonight Christ was Born) *

Hungary Karácsonyi zene
Mennyből Az Angyal (Angel from Heaven) *
Csordapásztorok (Shepherds) *
Pásztorok, Pásztorok (Shepherds, Shepherds) *

Canada
Jesous Ahatonhia (Huron Carol) *

Ireland Carúl Nollag
Carúl Loch Garman, Carúl Inis Córthaidh (Good people all this Christmas time; The Wexford Carol) *
Once in Royal David's City *
Oíche Nollag (Christmas Eve) *

Italy Canzoni di Natale
Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle (From Starry Skies Thou Comest) *
Gesù Bambino (The Infant Jesus) *
Dormi, Dormi, Bel Bambin (Sleep, O Sleep My Lovely Child) *

Latin
Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) *
Veni, Veni Emmanuel (O Come, O Come Emmanuel) *
Dixit Maria ad Angelum (Mary Said to the Angel)*
Laetabundus (Joy Abounding; Chant from Christmas liturgy) *

Norway Julesang
Alles Oyne Vokter Deg (Advent song from Psalm 145) *
Det Lyser I Stille Grender (Light in Quiet Villages) *
Musevisa (The Mouse Song) *

Poland Kolęda
Bóg Się Rodzi (God is Born) *
Oj, Maluśki, Maluśki, Maluśki (Oh, Little Baby, Tiny like a glove) * *
Wśród Nocnej Ciszy (Into This Night's Stillness) *
Przybieżeli do Betlejem (Came Running to Bethlehem) *
Lulajże Jezuniu (Sleep Little Jesus) *

Portugal Canção de Natal or Janeiras
Eu Hei de M'ir ao Presépio (I Shall Visit The Manger) *
José Embala o Menino (Joseph Cradles The Infant Jesus) *
Beijai o Menino (Give Infant Jesus A Kiss) *
Pela Noite de Natal (It Was Christmas Night) *
Natal Africano (African Carol) *

Romania (and Moldova) colinde
O, Ce Veste Minunată! (Oh, What Wondrous Tidings) *
Trei Crai de la Răsărit (Three Wise Men Coming From the East) *
Astăzi s-a Născut Hristos (Today Christ Was Born) *
Sus La Poarta Raiului (Up at Heaven's Gate) *
Florile Dalbe (Flowers of White) *
Deschide uşa, creştine! (Open Your Door, Good Christian!) *

Spain villancicos
Ay, Del Chiquirritin (Oh, The Poor, Little Baby Boy) *
Dime Niño, de Quién Eres (Tell Me, Child, Who are you From) *
Los Pastores a Belén (Shepherds of Bethlehem) *
En el Portal de Belén/Pastores Venid (In the Gate at Bethlehem/Shepherds Come) *
Los Peces en el Río (The Fish in the River) *
Hacia Belén Va Una Burra, rin, rin (A Donkey Is Going to Bethlehem) *

Latin America villancicos
Canto Para Pedir Posada (Song to Ask for Shelter) *
Mi Burrito Sabanero (My Little Grasslands Donkey) *
Campana Sobre Campana (Bells Over Bells) *

Sweden Julsång
Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus (We Have Kindled Thousands of Christmas Lights Now) *
När Det Lider Mot Jul (When Christmas Has Come) *
Sankta Lucia (Santa Lucia Song) *
Bonus: Look! Shepherds of Bethlehem, composed by Swedish musicologist and choral conductor Folke Bohlin (in 1973?) *

Switzerland
Es Ist Für Uns Eine Zeit Angekommen (Unto Us a Time has Come) *

Russia/Ukraine Коляда koliadky (Russian: Різдвяна колядка)
Бог предвічний народився (Boh predvičnyj narodilsja; God Eternal is Born) * *
Щедрик (Schedryk; New Years carol of a little swallow, familiar to westerners as Carol of the Bells) * *
В лесу родилась елочка. Новогодняя песня (The Forest Raised a Christmas Tree) *

Wales Carol Nadolig (see also Plygain Carols)
Borau Gorau I Gyd (Behold the Finest Morn of All) *
Suo Gân (Lullabye) * *
Oer yw'r gŵr sy'n methu caru (Deck the Halls; uses the Welsh tune Nos Galan) * *


Are you curious to know whether the US has any traditional Christmas carols that can uniquely claim to be "made in the USA?"

USA Christmas Carols
The Little Drummer Boy popularized by Maria von Trapp! *
O Little Town of Bethlehem American Nat King Cole *
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear American Johny Mathis *
We Three Kings LA's Angel City Choir *




Australia
Although Australia doesn't have a centuries-old tradition of singing uniquely Australian Christmas hymns, they have had to deal with songs about Christmas snow while they're in the middle of summer. Jeanne Webb, who blogs from Australia, has written about how modern song-writers have come up with some uniquely Australian songs to fit their region which you can read about here.