Most Christmas music is quite joyful, all about decking the halls and whatnot. While I like those songs okay… the songs that truly speak to me are a little more… sad and sleepy, I suppose. It does go well with the whole Seasonal Affective Disorder thing. (You know, getting much less daylight makes everyone sluggish and sad… or maybe it’s just me.)
And so, in no particular order, here are my five favourite Christmas songs!
How Great Our Joy
The title sounds super-upbeat… but when you sing the words “how great our joy (echo – great our joy) / joy joy joy (echo – joy joy joy)” it just sounds so utterly sad. And… I love that contrast.
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
Ah, another sad-sounding song. What can I say, I find these more meaningful than those peppy songs which I strongly suspect exist entirely to get people to frantically and happily shell out for Christmas gifts. Behold, my favourite lyric: “and in despair I bowed my head, there is no peace on earth, I said / for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth good will to men”. See? Authentic.
Silent Night & Away In A Manger
I have put these two songs together here because they are very sleepy in nature. Last night we had a family gathering, and these were the only two songs we sang. Andrew’s cousin sat next to me, with her four young children nestled all ’round, and it seemed to me these lullaby-like song choices were very helpful for lulling small children to sleep at Christmas. Also worth mentioning, we sang one verse of Silent Night in German. My German’s getting better and better with every Silent Night verse we sing!
In The Bleak Midwinter
This song is beautiful, thoughtful, and nobody’s sick of it… because you just don’t hear it that often. When we’re supposed to yelp out the next song to sing in a group, nobody ever pipes up, “We should all sing ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’!” Doesn’t happen. But I’d argue that it really should.
The Friendly Beasts
I have never sang this one out loud either! In fact, I didn’t know about it until Sufjan Stevens released his Christmas album. I love this song because it makes me feel like a little girl back on the farm. Oh, and there is also a lullaby element to this song too… the dove cooed him to sleep.
Which reminds me… that’s next on my agenda. Sleeping. Good night!