Best Christmas Songs You've Never Heard
A Different Tree - Different Can Be Good
Diverse Traditions Around Christmas
In America, we have a diversity of Christmas traditions and winter holiday customs. Two different celebrations that have caused competing sides to struggle against one another are Commercial Christmas and the Christmas of Faith. The first is based on buying, giving, and receiving presents; while the second is a faith based tradition that celebrates the Gift of God to the world with or without giving Christmas presents.
A portion of Americans celebrate only the first holiday and may or may not speak of the Spirit of Christmas, while another segment celebrates only the second holiday.
A third sector of the population celebrates both, while a fourth division celebrates neither for a variety of reasons that include observing other cultural or faith based holidays, the custom of not celebrating any holidays at all, and other factors.
Yet a fifth portion of the American population wishes that they could, in fact, celebrate one or both of the Christmas holidays listed above, but are unable to do so for any number of reasons. They may be in the hospital without family or sitting beside the bed of a seriously ill family member every day, they may not have any money or even be unemployed, they may have to work throughout the holidays (even double shifts) to pay bills, they might be trapped in an abusive situation and not permitted to have any holiday, or they may be serving in the US Armed Forces (and might even be suffering as Prisoners of War).
Many of these unusual circumstances might be eased somewhat with unusual, refreshing music in the air, rather than that thousandth playing of Jingle Bells. While we listen to our own music, we can remember the plight of these unfortunate people and may be moved to action.
Below are some unusual sings that have been used to commemorate the commercial Xmas of Santa Claus and faith based Christmases. These are all my favorites, because I tire of hearing Rudolph and Frosty on the Muzak system in Big Lots during August every year. Refraining from entering the store does not help, because the music is so loud that is pervades the air space outside the store for one half block in either direction.
I hope you enjoy these songs and lyrics, accompanied by videos.
Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus
Video Credit On Youtube: beckykelleySTL on YouTube; and see the website /www.wheresthelinetoseejesus.com/
The First Carol Written In North America
A Jesuit priest who became a saint wrote the Huron Carol in Canada for the First Nation people that he served in 1643. The carol is sung in Wendat language of the Hurons and in French, with differing lyrics. Outside of Canada, not many people now of it.
This Christmas Gift, by Mark C. Gage and Stephen M. Lautenbacher
Shoes For a Sick Mother
The following song is one that combines the lights and gift giving of the holidays with a child's vision of Heaven for his mom.
The Christmas Shoes, by New Song
Mary Did You Know?
The haunting and touching carol "Mary Did You Know?" was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene in 1991, and first recorded by Michael W. English. Many artists have covered this song, including Wynonna Judd (who also recorded "Let's Make a Baby King") and Kenny Rogers in 1997. Mary J. Blige covered it and Cee Lo Green even recorded it - in 2012! The Pentatonix version in on Billboard's Hot 100.
Second City TV Christmases
Bob and Doug of The Great White North was a hilarious segment of the Second City TV shows in the late 1970s-1980s. The brothers were played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. These actors later reprised their roles as two moose in the animated Brother Bear and as the McKensie brothers again in a 24th anniversary special of The Great White North in May of 2007.
In 1994 and 1995, the New Red Green Show featured Dave Thomas as a Doug Mckenzie type of character. Dave played Ben Franklin, wearing the same outfit and portraying one half of another comic set of brothers.
The 12 Days of Christmas as Bob and Doug McKensie song it is illustrated in a way that makes it easier to understand the gifts. This is a lot of fun and not offensive as some other spoof Christmas songs may be to some folks - particularly The 12 Pains of Christmas.
Bob and Doug of the Great White North
The group known as AnimxaEnt has come up with a great animated version of Bob & Doug's 12 Days of Christmas and have a site at http://animaxent.com. Their version of Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas is below and they provide a trailer for their animated Bob & Doug show.
Might be fun!
Unique Christmas Songs
The following songs are unique in that they are set to music that has not been associated primarily with Christmas carols and church hymns, or because they perhaps have not been heard by many people.
Some songs that are usually associated with Easter are used at Christmas time by churches as well, enlivening faith based services with high energy and closing the circle in the tradition of birth, death, and resurrection.
Wynonna Judd's rendition of Let's Make A Baby King is an engaging bluesy number with a lot of energy. You may know it as "Why Don't We Call Him Lord?"
The Blues: Let's Make A Baby King - Performed by Jason Crabb
In The Bleak Midwinter
This song is one that I have heard only once among dozens of Christmases. The tune is rather lyrical and almost haunting, particularly as provided in the beautiful instrumental from the group Celtic Women in the video below.
Lyrics by Christina Rossetti in 1872 and tune by Gustav Holst in 1906.
- In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
- Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
- Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
- In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
- Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
- Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
- In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
- The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
- Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
- Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
- Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
- The ox and ass and camel which adore.
- Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
- Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
- But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
- Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.
- What can I give Him, poor as I am?
- If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
- If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
- Yet what I can I give Him? -- Give my heart.
In the Bleak Midwinter
Modern Church Music
Modern church music tends not to be over-played in stores during the Christmas and winter holiday seasons, because the standard fare is already taking up all the airwaves.
Some of the old American favorites are beautiful, such as White Christmas, and Silver Bells, but some others become very annoying after constant performances in stores, on the radio, and on television shows. We want an interlude of something different and with substance.
I have never heard either of the following songs played over the Muzak system of a department store at Christmas. In fact, the first one may even scare some customers out of the store, because it is so dramatic.
The following two songs were written originally for the Easter season or non-holiday portions of the year, but are used by several churches I have visited during the Christmas season. He's Alive was written by Ray Boltz and is a powerful number. Jesus Is Alive was written by modern Gospel music artist Ron Kenoly -- You can dance to that one! It is often played as a mash-up with Lift Him Up.
Ron Kenoly & Hillsong: Jesus Is Alive
What Are Your Favorite Christmas Season Melodies?
Here are my Top 10 Favorites:
1) Mary Did You Know
2) Where's The Line To See Jesus?
3) Let's Make A Baby King
4) Huron Carol - translated as "Jesus, He Is Born" and also "Twas In the Moon of Wintertime" (Canadian, written for the Huron First People). This is the first carol written in North America.
5) Wexford Carol (from Ireland)
6) In the Bleak Midwinter
7) Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas
8) Lift Him Up and He's Alive mash-up
9) The Holly and the Ivy (from Glouchestershire, England)
10) (a tie) The 12 Days of Christmas, in Russian; and We Three Kings of Orient Are
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS