Christmas music is heart-warming and unforgettable. Songs of Christmas are timeless treasures that have engrossed countless generations of people. Obviously, some songs and carols are more memorable than others; but one could argue that even the most mediocre Christmas song would have no problems awakening the holiday spirit in hardened hearts everywhere. In this article, I will discuss three of the world’s most popular Christmas songs: Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and Feliz Navidad.
1. Jingle Bells (by James Lord Pierpont)
Jingle Bells is probably the most recognized and most popular Christmas song ever. Ironically, the song’s lyrics make no direct references to Christmas. But since Christmas has become synonymous with the winter season, this song is inextricably linked to Christmas. It should be noted that the song as it is being sung is a revised version of the original Jingle Bells. The original is a more serious piece of music–one that stays true to the classical genre.
What make Jingle Bells a brilliant piece of music are the festive atmosphere and playful mood, created by the song’s stimulating lyrics. The music of Jingle Bells is etched in our mind and dwells in our consciousness. Once the music starts, one can’t help but to sing along becoming part of the excitement. Christmas isn’t quite Christmas without lots of bells and jingles.
2. Silent Night (by Josef Mohr & Franz Xaver Gruber)
Christmas is, at its core, a celebration of Jesus’ birth. One of the oldest traditions of Christmas is the singing of carols, in commemorating the birth of the Redeemer. Among the better known Christmas carols, Silent Night is arguably the most famous and most popular carol of the bunch. Like most festive songs, Silent Night is brilliant at setting up an atmosphere befitting the holiday mood.
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In contrast to the cheery mood fashioned by Jingle Bells, the atmosphere created by Silent Night is not one of superficial merriment but one of genuine joys. In a few simple words, the song successfully recreates the magical moment when Jesus came to the world. Silent Night is truly a classic among classics.
3. Feliz Navidad (by José Feliciano)
Accessibility is the essence of a good Christmas song. As they are meant to be sung by everyone, almost all popular Christmas songs have easy and uncomplicated lyrics. This is why the popular Spanish Christmas song Feliz Navidad (meaning Merry Christmas) is so adored not only in its native country, but also all over the world.
The song is astoundingly simple. As a matter of fact, the entire song consists of only 6 unique words. Yet, these simple lyrics coupled with exhilarating music provide an experience unlike any other; and you don’t have to speak Spanish to sing the song. Feliz Navidad reminds us that music (like faith) is universal and is void of barriers.