Learning and singing songs is lots of fun. As a student, learning lyrics is a lot more fun than memorizing vocabulary lists, so if you're learning French, check out some French Christmas Songs.
Christmas is incomplete without classic songs and carols. Music is the thing that connects everyone of us universally. Songs carry within them, the seeds of a culture and an era. Every one of the songs are representative of hope and aspirations of the era in which they were written.
Christmas is celebrated around the world, and as you shift from cities, to states, and from countries to continents, the flavor of Christmas is uniquely blended in with the culture and traditions of that place. In France for instance, they have the “la fête de Saint Nicolas” or the “Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which begins from the 6th of December, and after the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, known as “Messe de Minuit”, it is followed by a huge feast called “le Réveillon”, which is taken from the word “réveiller”, meaning to “wake up or revive”. And as with any other country, it has its own set of French Christmas carols, some original,s and others translated from classic English tunes. A list of some of the most simple, yet beautiful French Christmas songs from the old to the modern and everything in between.
One of the most beautiful Christmas songs of all time whether sung in a church or on a stage. Check out this Rufus Wainwright live version if you’re a fan of his work or looking for a contemporary singer singing this classic Christmas song.
Bel Astre Que J’Adore
An original French traditional carol from the 15th Century, this song has no known alternate English version. It talks about an immense love for God, and how his arrival freed man from the craving for materialistic wealth and happiness.
Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle!
This carol was first published in the Provence region of France in 1553, and was later translated into English in the 18th century. The carol talks about the people who go to visit baby Jesus, and how they have to whisper so that they can leave the newborn undisturbed with his dreams. The people of Provence still sing this carol on the way to Midnight Mass, dressed as milkmaids and shepherds, and truly setting forth to build the atmosphere of Christmas.
French Jingle Bells: Vive Le Vent
This famous Christmas song goes by many names (O Come all Ye faithful, Come let us Adore Him, Angels We have Heard on High, or Gloria in Excelis Deo). Simply click on the video and you’ll recognize the tune. It’s sung beautifully by some unknown Christmas choir.
Douce Nuit, Sainte Nuit
One of the most beautiful carol compositions that has been translated into numerous languages, this song was originally written by Joseph Mohr in 1816. It is a simple, dressed-down song about the night that Jesus was born, and talks of the peace that is both seen on the newborn’s face and how it blankets the night in its quiet awe.
Le Petit Renne Au Nez Rouge
This is one carol that never gets old! A hit with both children and adults alike, the original English version was written by Robert L. May in 1939 and later adapted into French by Jacques Larue. Popularly known as Santa’s Ninth Reindeer, it was known to shine the way on a winter night with its glowing red nose. He was mocked by his friends, but Santa seemed to see his potential, and he is finally seen as a hero. It is a fun song to usher in the Christmas spirit.
Venez O Fideles
The original version in English is attributed to various people from King John IV of Portugal, to John reading, to John Francis Wade. The word “Faithful” here refers to the Church and the Christian people and calls on them to gather in order to witness the Nativity.
Petit Papa Noël
Written by Raymond Vincy and Henri Martinet, and recorded by French singer Tino Rossi in 1946, this is one of the more modern songs that is currently the best-selling single of all time in France. With gentle and soothing melodies, this song has acted as a lullaby for many a child in France on an excitement-filled Christmas Eve. This is a song written from the perspective of a child who says his prayers before bedtime and wishes for some toys, and tells Santa that he hopes to see him as he comes to deliver the goodies. Now, who hasn’t done that at some point in their childhood?