World’s Greatest Christmas Songs & Carols

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 still awake the holiday spirit in hardened hearts everywhere. Our staff presents this list of the greatest Christmas songs and carols. 

Jingle Bells by James Lord Pierpont
Country of origin: United States

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 the occasion. What make Jingle Bells a brilliant piece of music are the festive atmosphere and playful mood created by the song’s scintillating lyrics. The music of Jingle Bells etches in our mind and dwells in our consciousness. Once the music starts, one can’t help but sing along becoming part of the excitement. Christmas isn’t quite Christmas without lots of bells and jingles. 

Silent Night by Josef Mohr & Franz Xaver Gruber
Country of origin: Austria

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 of the bunch. Like most festive songs, Silent Night is brilliant at setting up an atmosphere befitting the holiday mood. 

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. 

Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano
Country of origin: United States / Puerto Rico

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 land, 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 understand Spanish to enjoy the song. Feliz Navidad reminds us that music (like faith) is universal and is void of barriers. 

Joy to The World (by Isaac Watts)
Country of origin: England

The lyrics of the song were based on hymns from one of the Bible’s Psalms. Ironically, the lyricist Isaac Watts originally intended to use the hymns to celebrate the second coming of Christ not the first. The carol became a popular song sung during Christmastime and has been linked to the holiday ever since.  

Honorable Mentions

We Wish You A Merry Christmas by Arthur Warrell
Country of origin: England

A simple Christmas folk song with easy-to-remember melodies, similar to the style of Feliz Navidad.

White Christmas by Irving Berlin
Country of origin: United States
Originally sung by Bing Crosby, the song was featured in the movie of the same title. It is estimated that the Crosby’s version has sold over 100 million copies. 

A Sad Christmas Carol (Bài Thánh Ca Buồn) by Nguyễn Vũ
Country of origin: Vietnam
As he listens to a familiar Christmas carol, a lonely heart reminisces past Christmas memories he shared with his first love. 

O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
Country of origin: Portugal / England
O Come, All Ye Faithful, together with Silent Night and Joy, are the most popular Christmas carols of all time. 

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