The most wonderful time of the year is upon us and all around the world people are preparing for the upcoming celebration. Every year we hear more songs added to the Christmas song book, but do we need them? There is a plethora of good Christmas music from all over the world that you may not have heard yet. In this spirit we’ve picked out a few of our favorite carols from the world over.
Alegria Alegria – Daisy Voisin (Trinidad and Tobago)
“Alegria Alegria” is a lively tune from Daisy Voisin, the undisputed “Queen of Parang.” The lyrics celebrate the birth of Jesus. The Parang musical style was brought to Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago by Amerindian, Spanish, and African migrants and remains a popular genre.
Betelehemu – African Children’s Choir (Africa)
“Betelehemu” was written for the Glee Club of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, by their Choir Director, Dr. Wendell P. Whalum. The text was given to Whalum by an African Native student. The lyrics speak of thanks for Jesus’ birth, as well as for a Father in whom we can rely and trust.
Ang Pasko ay Sumapit (Philippines)
“Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” is a popular Christmas song in the Philippines, about as old as “White Christmas.” It was written by early Filipino movie scorer Josefino “Pepe” Cenizal, who passed in 2015 at the age of 99. The title translates to “Christmas is near.”
Les anges dans nos campagnes – Vox Angeli (France)
Many people do not realize that this 18th-century French hymn was around for a long time as “The Angels in Our Countryside.” It is not clear where the tune comes from, but the chorus may be from the 2nd century, sung by French shepherds. In 1860, the carol was translated to English, when it was renamed “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
Przybieżeli do Betlejem (Poland)
“They Came to Bethlehem” is a Polish Carol from the 17th century. This fun, lively tune is so full of joy we can’t help but dance in our seats. The children’s voices on this recording really add to its innocent charm.
Fum Fum Fum (Spain)
This traditional Catalan Christmas carol is thought to be from the 16th or 17th century. The word “Fum” means smoke in in Catalan and may refer to the smoke rising from chimneys during the cold winter months; however it may also be referring to the sound of a drum or the strumming of a guitar.