Monday, December 6, 2010

Big List of Christmas Carols (updated for 2013)

This is a very long post.... I've just listed a lot of carols in alphabetical order, but within categories, so you can find the ones you want fairly easily. I hate labelling things as "kid's songs" because I find that kids really like the traditional carols if they get a chance to, so I've called one category "Child-focussed".  These might be particularly helpful if you are planning a pageant! I've put the traditional carols at the end of the post, because you probably know which ones of those you want to sing!


Newer Christmas Songs
*CoC03 All over creation (Murray) These words will wake up your congregation. Particularly good for Christmas Eve or a Christmas night service. Challenging words. Nice lilting tune. Lyrics.
*CoC04 All who would see God's greatness (Barrell) I prefer tune (ii) by Colin Gibson. These words are lovely and gentle, but still challenging. I like the call to "draw near". Lyrics 

*AA012 / CoC08 Child of Christmas story (Murray) A lovely Christmas song; very focussed on the Christ child. Simple tune. Lyrics and sheet music.
*AA014 / CoC09 Child of joy and peace (Murray) Excellent words for Christmas and Epiphany; recognises the poverty of Christ and constrasts it with the greed of Christmas - without being too heavy handed. I like the Ian Render tune (JENNIFER'S GIFT) best, even though it's a little tricky. Lyrics and sheet music.
*CoC15 Come now where we least expect you (Barrell) Challenging words and a tune that could be pretty groovy. "Christ is found far beyond our sacred ground". Indeed! Lyrics.
AA028 / CoC16 Come to this Christmas singing (Murray) Joyous sheep-farming, beach-loving Christmas song. New Zealand specific because of the word "aroha", unless it fits your congregation. Lyrics and sheet music.
*A&M185 / GC(II)362 / G(3)434 / SP69 Dark is the night / Sing Alleluia (O'Brien) Excellent and simple Christmas song which reflects the magnificat and the happiness of Jesus’ parents. I especially like the last verse “Hope for the poor, release for the captive, Love for the outcast, light for weary eyes; Word that brings life, embracing humanity, Jesus, companion be born into our lives”. It would be particularly good for a Christmas eve service. The chorus would also work very nicely on its own. Lyrics and sheet music sample. Mushy sound sample. Available for purchase online 
*MV158 / FFS12 Dream a dream (Shirley Murray) Broad words of hope for the future of creation and the world's people. I think the first tune in Faith Forever Singing (by Nigel Eastgate) is the most intuitive and interesting. GIA music also have a tune by Lori True which fits together with Dona Nobis Pacem which could be really lovely if you have a choir, especially a children's choir (sound sample). Lyrics only (scroll or search down) Sheet music sample. This can be purchased online from GIA.
*Iona (M&G) / CH359 / MV033 / GtG137 / ZSS54 / StJ / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love/ Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) A lovely simple song - you can make up words and have a lot of fun with this if you also use some drums. Good for kids.
*Cha158 Her baby newly breathing (Wren) Realistic words of Mary's motherhood of a real life type of infant, to the familiar tune MERLE'S TUNE. The final verse sings of creating Wisdom "constricted into maleness, and of a woman born". Lyrics (scroll through) 
*StS028 / WoV638 / G(II)275 / GC369 / GC(II)354 / G(3)443 / W&R199 Holy Child within the Manger (Haugen) Lovely words and a simple gentle tune. lyrics
*CoC28 I didn't hear the angels sing (McCoy) Lovely statement of faith despite not having witnessed the Christmas events. Simple tune.  
ELW292 / GtG110 Love Has Come (Bible) Christmas A lovely song of love being born. A good song for kids to a simple French carol tune. Lyrics Good for kids.
*TiS 287 / CH287 / StS011 / GC(II)768 / G(3)876 No wind at the window (Bell) Wonderful words to the familiar Celtic tune COLUMCILLE that focus on Mary's decision to say "Yes" to God. Very easy to sing. Works well for Advent and Christmas. Lyrics. Sound sample.

*TiS 288 / Iona Not the powerful not the privileged (Bell) Lyrics (scroll down)
*CH329 / AA108 / CoC33 O little Love who comes again (Murray) A lovely gentle and thoughtful Christmas song, which would also work for Epiphany. Lyrics and sheet music
*MV149 / CoC35 Peace for our children (Lankshear-Smith) A simple and quite repetitive (in a nice way) song that prays for peace for children, women, men, families, nations… and the soul.  
G(II)274 / GC365 / GC(II)360 / G(3)432 Silent in the Chill of Midnight (O'Brien) Quite nice Christmas lullaby. Northern Hemisphere specific.  
*AoV2-043 / ATFG520 / CoC40 / NCH538 / SFFS 2095 / GC(II)355 / G(3)449 / SP&P174 / W&R223 / ZSS63 Star-Child (Murray) A lovely lovely carol. Very easy to sing. A big favourite! Lyrics and sample sheet music.
TiS 322 / AHB 246 The north wind is tossing the leaves Dusty Australian carol. Lyrics.
*Songs from the Still Strange Land The stillness of anticipation / Turning point of time (Quintrell / Simper) I really love this Australian carol. It's not easy for a congregation, so will need to be taught. Lyrics.
*G(II)268 / GC355 The Tiny Child to Bethlehem Came (Haugen) Good words of hope for peace sung to a sort of Celtic tune, which is not too hard. Lyrics and sheet music sample. Sound sample
**AA141 / CoC44 The wind blew keen (Gibson) A beautiful carol, with simple straightforward Celtic type tune. I hope this becomes popular, because it's really lovely. Lyrics

VU97 / GC(II)376 / G(3)450 When a star is shining (Where the Promise Shines) (Dunstan) would also be good for Epiphany. Sheet music.
Unknown source When our God came to earth (Mayhew) These words are to the same tune as “Long ago, prophets new” (THEODORIC). Lyrics can be found here and you could use TiS 283 or HPP 87 for the tune. "Let the poor rejoice! Let the mute give voice! Love is shown, God is known, Christ is born of Mary"
*AA154 / CoC48 Where is the room? (Murray/David Dell) More beautiful words of hope and peace and hospitality. Simple tune to sing. Lyrics

*GtG120 Where shepherds lately knelt (Vajda) Excellent and quite personal reflective words recognising faith in the midst of doubt. The tune is lovely, but will need to be taught, or sung by your musicians.  Lyrics and a youtube video.

*Iona / NCH153 / GtG138 / CH295 / G(II)267 / GC350 / SP22 Who would think that what was needed (God's surprise) (Iona community) I love the challenge to our priorities in this song. The lyrics are to the traditional tune SCARLET RIBBONS. Lyrics and sample sheet music. Keyboard sound sample.
*Iona / TiS 325 / G(II)277 / GC(II)381 Who is the baby an hour or two old / AYE CAROL Very simple flowing tune and good challenging words “Will you come with me, e’vn though I feel shy?” seems perfect for those who rarely step into a church. Lyrics and sheet music sample. Slow sound sample. Your congregation will expire if you try to sing it this slowly, even though it sounds very pretty with a soloist....
*AA159 / CoC50 Who is the child that is to be born? (Murray) Lovely lilting melody and beautiful words. Maybe more Adventy?
*Online Resource I have a song to sing (Ferguson) New words to the folk tune "10 guitars". This is so joyful and encourages some dancing, perhaps in a circle, or in lines, depending on your congregation. Lyrics. Tune sample and chords (and original lyrics) 
*Online Resource Within a stall a baby lies cradled (Wood) Inspiring words for Christmas Eve full of hope for a better world. Free sheet music.

Glorias 
*ATOK 318 / Iona (SBL) / CH762 / MV036 / WoV788 / SFFS 2033 / SP&P078 / URW403 Glory to God / Gloria di dios (Peru) Good fun. Great for kids - call and response. SFFS has a good Trinitarian formula for it. Good for kids.
*TiS 773 /  ATW 431 / NCH756 / CH760 / UMH072 / VU37 / WoV640 / GA291 / G(II)199 / GC(II)253 / G(3)426 / W&R240 / Cha034 URW380 Glory to God / Gloria Gloria (Taize) The refrain is excellent - joyous, simple, a round. Everything. The verses are not great. Good for kids.
Iona (TI1AU) / MV038 Glory to God / Nzamuranza (Mozambique / Matsikenyiri) Simple African call and response song. Great harmonies.
CoC20 Gloria (Bray) A pretty majestic gloria in 4 part harmony.  
CoC21 Gloria (Gibson) This Latin gloria could be sung as a simple chant, a 3- part canon or a four part chorale!
GC(II)190 Glory to God in the highest (Beneath the Tree of Life) (Haugen) Communion response A good joyful Gloria. Just needs a word substituion for "his people" to "God's people". The sound sample actually does that and it still works well.
BUC*TiS 731 /  SFFS 2017 / GtG155 / G(II)377 / GC557 / GC(II)535 / G(3)618 / W&R212 / PfAS100G / URW383 / Lau691 Raise a song of gladness / Jubilate Servite (Taize) Glorious, fun round. If your congregation balks at singing in Latin, it can be sung in English as "Raise a song of gladness, all the earth, Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart, Alleluia Alleluia, Joy to every heart (x2)". This is not a Gloria, but it has the feel of one!

Folk / World Songs
*NCH154 / UMH251 / VU43 / LBW070 / ELW290 / HPP110 / PH029 / GtG136 / GC359 / GC(II)363 / G(3)428 / W&R218 / Cha167 / ZSS59 / 82Hml-099 / Lau164 Go tell it on the mountain (Work) There is a simple and slightly groovy choral version available here. Good for kids.
NCH136 / StS019 / GtG126 / ELW297 W&R219 Jesus Jesus O what a wonderful child (African-American)
CH310 / CP(E) 68 / W&R227 See him lying on a bed of straw (Perry) This song (Calypso Carol) is cool, especially if you get some crazy bass singing action happening. I have a 3 part a capella arrangement that I did of this a very long time ago which uses that approach. Good for kids.
NCH137 / VU52 / PH052 Sheep fast asleep / Hitsuji Wa Nemure Ri (Miwa) Japanese carol. Very peaceful.
*TiS 307 / AHB 232 / CH300 / VU73 / SFFS 2098 / G(II)264 / GC345 / GC(II)378 / G(3)454 / CP128 / ZSS60 The Virgin Mary had a baby boy (West Indian Traditional) Love it. Make sure you note the timing of the music - it's not quite what most people anticipate. Good for kids.
*VU70 / WoV645 / SFFS 2096 / HPP105 / PH050 / GtG135 / G(II)271 / GC360 / GC(II)375 / G(3)453 / W&R209 There's a star in the east on Christmas morn (African American traditional) I like this one. Calling people while celebrating Christmas
NCH151 / Iona (SBL) / UMH244 / VU071 / LBW072 / ELW284 / HPP119 / PH061 / GtG142 / G(II)272 / GC361 / CP146 / W&R213 / Cha166 / 82Hml-114 Twas in the moon of wintertime (de Brebeuf) I love this one, and it does a good job of making the Christmas story Native American.


Child-focussed
*AoVK-60 / AA004 / CoC05 And did you see him little star? (Clyde / Gibson) Good words. Simple to sing and great for children. I like the idea of the star being the observer and the guide. Good for kids.
*?AoV2-168 / ATA 134 / GGives2 At Christmas time the birds all sing / Christmas in the scrub (Newton) Silly and fun Christmas song for Australian kids. Good for kids.
NCH141 / AA009/ CoC07 Carol our Christmas (Murray) A fun Southern Hemisphere Christmas song. Good for kids.  
Online resource  Celebrate Emmanuel (MacGregor) This is a simple song, which you could use with the verses, or just sing the chorus. Available online. (search for "celebrate") Good for kids.
*Online resource Christmas time - we celebrate! (MacGregor) A good song for kids. I don't think the sound sample shows how cool this song could be... use some imagination and have fun with it!  Good for kids.
CoC12 Clippety-clop clippety clop (Wise) A fun kids' song about the donkey ride and the lack of room in the inn. Good for a pageant!  Good for kids.
CoC17 Don't tell anyone (SHHH! Not anyone) (Gibson) This song would be just perfect for a leader + kids to sing at the start of a Christmas Pageant. Good for kids.   

*CoC19 Get up get up no time to yawn (Gibson) A very fun song for Christmas morning. I think it would be pretty straightforward to sing, but given the number of visitors on Christmas day, it might be good to get a group to sing it. "Come friend, come stranger, here's no danger, follow shepherds and kings to the manger where Christ, the Christ is born". Good for kids.
ATOK 338 In a dusty old place called Bethlehem / God in human shoes (Thiele) Good for kids.
NCH138 / UMH227 / VU056 / HPP98 Jesus our brother strong and good / kind and good (French carol) Good for kids especially. Good for kids.
*AoV2-043 / ATFG520 / CoC40 / NCH538 / SFFS 2095 / GC(II)355 / G(3)449 / SP&P174 / W&R223 / ZSS63 Star-Child (Murray) A lovely lovely carol. Very easy to sing. A big favourite! Lyrics and sample sheet music.
CoC42 The jersey cow came mooing (Gibson) Fun song for little kids with lots of animal sounds at the stable. Good for a pageant, too. Good for kids.
*CoC46 Two tired people asked for rest (Tayler / Sheehy) Good song for a Christmas Eve pageant. I suggest getting the congregation to just join in on the chorus "No room, no room, you can't stay here, we can't take any more, but in the stable you can make a bed upon the straw." Good for kids.
*CoC47 When Joseph and Mary (Gibson) Another good song for kids and adults too. The words are strong enough to shake adults up a bit, but fun enough for kids to enjoy as well. Good for kids.
*TiS 325 / G(II)277 / GC371 / GC(II)381 / G(3)456 / Lau153 Who is the baby an hour or two old? Good for kids.
Online resource Bethlehem Night (Taylor) A lovely song for a children's choir; would be great at the end of a pageant. Sound sample and sheet music. Good for kids.

Traditional Anglo-European Carols
VU068 / CP151 All poor ones and humble (Roberts) Lyrics.
*TiS 309 / AHB 235 / NCH126 / CH324 / UMH220 / VU036 / LBW050 / ELW275 / GtG143 / CP143 / G(3)438 / CP(E) 44 / W&R189 / Cha149 / Srce2-29 / 82Hml-093 / Lau131 Angels From the realms of glory (Montgomery) Lyrics and one possible tune.
AoVK-64 / HPP121 / PH023 / GC347 / GC(II)361 Angels sing their praises ring (Newton)  

AoV2-140 / NCH125 / UMH238 / VU038 / LBW071 / ELW289 / GA286 / HPP125 / PH022 / GtG113 / GC358 / GC(II)369 / G(3)430 / W&R188 / Cha155 / 82Hml-096 / Lau130 Angels we have heard on high (French traditional)
*TiS 318 / AHB 242 / NCH124 / CH312 / UMH217 / VU069 / WoV644 / LBW067 / ELW278 / GA289 / HPP132 / PH025 / GtG114 / GC353 / GC(II)365 / G(3)448 / CP126 / CP(E) 45 / W&R203 / W&R205 / Cha147 / Srce51 / 82Hml-101 / Lau137 Away in a Manger (Mueller) I'm not wild about this carol. A non-crying baby. Doesn't sound fully human to me.
VU40 / WoV636 / GtG125 Before the marvel of this night (Vajda) Excellent, otherworldly words, and a beautiful tune. "Sing bliss, sing bliss, sing endless bliss!"
*TiS 323 / AoV2-101 /ATA 141 / NCH152 / VU095 / PH030 / GtG158 / CP130 / W&R194 Born in the night Mary's child (Ainger)
*TiS 319 / AHB 241 / CH314 / Lau141 Child in the manger infant of Mary (Macdonald) Words of the outcast, infant Christ who becomes the victorious Redeemer. Sung to the well known tune BUNESSAN. CH has the original Gaelic text.
TiS 306 / AHB 231 / CP(E)48 / Srce2-73 / 82Hml-106 Christians awake salute the happy morn 
*TiS 321 / AHB 245 Coldly the night winds winging I think this is one of the most beautiful carols in existence.
AHB 233 / HPP140 / GC366 / GC(II)366 / 82Hml-105 God rest you merry gentlemen / people all
*TiS 313 / AHB 238 / NCH129 / CH322 / UMH224 / VU035 / LBW055 / ELW288 / HPP97 / PH028 / GtG132 / GC(II)367 / G(3)435 / CP153 / W&R198 / Cha164 / 82Hml-107 / Lau139 Good Christian friends / Good Christians all rejoice (Latin) Some versions have that odd bar "News! News!" in the middle. I wonder where that came from?
*TiS 303 / AHB 227 / AoV1-171 / NCH144 / CH301 / UMH240 / VU048 / LBW060 / ELW270 / GA294 / HPP123 / PH031 / GtG119 / GC348 / GC(II)356 / G(3)424  / CP138 / CP(E) 53 / W&R185 / Cha150 / ZSS62 / Srce202 / 82Hml-087 / Lau155 Hark the herald angels sing (Wesley)  One of those carols that we sing pretty much every year at Brunswick.

PH034 CP580 In Bethlehem a Babe Was Born Joyful, and good words.
VU77 / PH035 / 82Hml-246 In Bethlehem a Newborn Boy (Herklots) Great words acknowledging the danger Christ was born into, and the danger that still exists today, and Christ's redemptive power over it.
NCH128 / CH305 / UMH221 / VU055 / ELW294 / HPP115 / PH036 / GtG144 / CP122 / CP(E) 55 / W&R196 / Srce2-275 / 82Hml-112 / Lau144 In the bleak midwinter (Rossetti) Beautiful. Very Northern-hemispherific though. Lyrics and warbly sound sample.
TiS 327 In the fields near Bethlehem
*TiS 292 / AHB 225 / UMH229 / VU58 / LBW044 / ELW276 / HPP130 / PH037 / GtG128 / GC354 / GC(II)377 / G(3)445 / CP125 / W&R221 / Cha163 / Lau138 Infant holy Infant lowly (Polish carol) One of my favourites; I'm profoundly shocked that we have not sung this recently at Brunswick. Lyrics and sound sample.
NCH131 / CH303 / UMH218 / VU44 / LBW054 / ELW282 / HPP128 / PH038 / GtG123 / GC367 / GC(II)379 / G(3)433 / CP140/1 CP(E) 56 / W&R191 / Cha153 / Srce2-289 / 82Hml-089 / Lau135 It came upon the midnight clear (Sears)
*TiS 268 / AHB 224 / AoV1-170 / NCH132 / CH320 / UMH246 / VU59 / LBW039 / ELW267 / GA295 / HPP107 / PH040 / GtG134 / GC343 / GC(II)353 / G(3)437 / CP154 / CP(E) 57 / W&R179 / Cha143 / Srce399 / 82Hml-100 / Lau156 Joy to the world The Lord is come (Watts)
*TiS 317 / AHB 243 / NCH165 / CH316 / UMH242 / HPP95 / CP131 / CP(E) 59 / W&R210 / 82Hml-084 Love came down at Christmas (Rossetti) Needs one small change in AHB to make it gender inclusive for people. NCH does this by replacing "all men" with "neighbour" in the last verse. I prefer the tune in TiS / AHB. Lyrics and odd-looking angels.
*TiS 304 / AHB 228 / AoV1-167 / NCH135 / CH306 / UMH234 / VU060 / LBW045 / ELW722 / GA287 / HPP100 / PH041 / GtG133 / GC341 / GC(II)357 / G(3)439 / CP118 / / CP(E) 61/62 / W&R182 / Cha148 / Srce502 / 82Hml-083 / Lau159 O come all ye faithful (Oakeley)
*TiS 316 / AHB 240 / NCH133 / CH304 / UMH230 / VU064 / LBW041 / ELW563 / GA296 / HPP112 / PH043 / GtG121 / GC363 / GC(II)359 / G(3)446 / CP120 / CP(E) 63 / W&R180 / Cha144 / Srce518 82Hml-078 / Lau127 O little town of Bethlehem (Brooks / Redner)
*TiS 300 / NCH143 / CH294 / R112 / ELW274 / GtG112 / HPP118 / W&R222 / Lau134 On Christmas night all Christians sing (Traditional English)
*TiS 312 / AHB 237 / NCH145 / CH315 / UMH250 / VU062 / WoV643 / LBW261 / ELW550 GA297 / HPP137 / PH049 / GtG140 / GC372 / GC(II)380 / G(3)455 / CP123 / CP(E) 66 / W&R183 / Cha165 / Srce530 / 82Hml-102 / Lau148 Once in royal David's city (Alexander)
*TiS 311 / AHB 236 / AoV1-168 / NCH134 / CH309 / UMH239 / VU067 / LBW065 / ELW821 GA290 / HPP135/ 136 / PH060 / GtG122 / G(II)262 / GC352 / GC(II)371 / G(3)441 / CP119 / CP(E) 69 / W&R186 / Cha145 / Srce610 / 82Hml-111 / Lau136 Silent night Holy night! (Gruber)
VU047 / HPP124 / PH047 / GtG124 / W&R214 Still Still Still (Austrian) Lovely mushy baby Jesus song.
*TiS 301 / AHB 221 / AoV1-169 / NCH139 / CH323 / UMH245 / VU90 / 91 LBW056 / ELW300 GA298 HPP108 / PH056 / GtG147 / GC377 / GC(II)388 / G(3)460 / CP139 / W&R229 / Cha151 / Srce2-550 / 82Hml-109 / Lau150 The first Nowell the angel did say (English carol)
*TiS 293 / AHB 218 / CH331 / VU054 / CP(E) 73 / 82Hml-098 Unto us a boy is born (German carol)
AoV1-165 / NCH148 / UMH219 / VU074 / LBW040 / ELW296 / HPP138 / PH053 / GtG145 / GC380 / GC(II)387 / G(3)466 / CP137 / CP(E) 74 / W&R184 / Cha162 / 82Hml-115 / Lau145 What child is this? (Dix)
*TiS 299 / AHB 223 / AoV1-172 / CH296 / UMH236 / VU075 / GA288 / HPP114 / PH058 / GtG117 / CP136 / CP(E) 76 / W&R228 / Cha154 / Srce2-662 / 82Hml-094 / Lau133 While shepherds watched their flocks by night (Tate) I really like the CH translation.
 

2 comments:

DAVID MACGREGOR said...

Hi Natalie
A few suggestions for you to consider:

You may wish to take on board (for starters) ... even if these are not strictly-speaking "carols" ... these two Christmas songs of mine:

CELEBRATE EMMANUEL (refrain of which is published in current Seasons of the Spirit materials)

IT'S CHRISTMAS - a child-friendly, bouncy song

Links to both of these can be found on:
http://www.togethertocelebrate.com.au/songslyrics.htm

Grace & peace,
David MacGregor

Lectionary Singer (Natalie Sims) said...

Thanks for the reminder David. I have both of these songs on a list ready to go... adding in now...
best,
Natalie