Nothing captures the spirit and atmosphere of Christmas better than a much-loved Christmas tune. This collection gathers together some of the most popular Christmas songs, all arranged specially for 8notes.com in easy versions for piano. Gather round and enjoy the spirit of Christmas!
O Holy Night
Regularly topping lists of favourite Christmas carols, "O Holy Night" combines a haunting melody with lyrics describing the birth of Jesus. The melody reaches a passionate climax with the words "O night divine" - guaranteed to send shivers down your spine and bring lashings of Christmas cheer!
The carol of the bells really captures the warm glow of Christmas. The repeating melody sounds like the repeating chime of a bell, but interestingly that's not how it started life. The piece was composed by Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych, it was originally called Schedryk and tells the story of a swallow. It became popular in the West after English lyrics were added by Peter J. Wilhousky
The song Jingle Bells was originally called "One Horse Open Sleigh." It was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and was originally meant for Thanksgiving. Today, of course, it is one of the best loved Christmas songs all over the world.
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is a popular sixteenth-century English carol from the West Country of England. The origin of this Christmas carol lies in the English tradition wherein wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve, such as figgy puddings that were very much like modern day Christmas puddings. It is one of the few English traditional carols that makes mention of the New Year celebration and is often the last song carolers sing, wishing all good tidings and happy spirits at Christmastime.
"Hark the Herald Angels Sing" is a bit of a Christmas mash-up. The tune we know today was originally written by Felix Mendelssohn from his Choral Cantata 'Festgesang," but the words came from Methodist Charles Wesley almost a hundred years earlier.
"Away in a Manger" is a Christmas carol first published in the late nineteenth century and used widely throughout the English-speaking world. In Britain it is one of the most popular carols. The tune "Cradle Song" was written by William J. Kirkpatrick for the musical Around the World with Christmas (1895) and is an adaptation of the melody originally composed in 1837 by Jonathan E. Spilman to "Sweet Afton".
"What Child Is This?" is a popular Christmas carol with lyrics written in 1865. It uses the traditional English melody 'Greensleeves'. It was written by English writer William Chatterton Dix while he was bed-ridden, suffering from a near-fatal illness.
"Ding Dong Merrily on High" first appeared as a secular dance tune known under the title "Branle de l'Official" in Orchésographie, a dance book written by Jehan Tabourot (1519-1593). The lyrics are from English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848-1934),
"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen," also known as "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," and "God Rest You Merry People All," is an English traditional Christmas carol. The melody is in the minor mode. It was published by William B. Sandys in 1833, although the author is unknown.