Christmas Music


I love Christmas time. It’s my favorite time of year. Although, for us Orthodox (and all other Christians), the Resurrection/Pascha should be the most highest feast day, and it is, I just can’t help myself but love the Nativity season as much as the Paschal tide.

Please post your favorite renditions of Christmas music. *No secularized/pozzed “holiday songs” please*

Good King Wenceslas - Crash Test Dummies


Orthodox Inquirer
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is based on an 1863 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and has a fascinating Civil War-related backstory.

From Wikipedia:
In 1861, two years before writing this poem, Longfellow's personal peace was shaken when his second wife of 18 years, to whom he was very devoted, was fatally burned in an accidental fire. Then in 1863, during the American Civil War, Longfellow's oldest son, Charles Appleton Longfellow, joined the Union Army without his father's blessing. Longfellow was informed by a letter dated March 14, 1863, after Charles had left. "I have tried hard to resist the temptation of going without your leave but I cannot any longer", he wrote. "I feel it to be my first duty to do what I can for my country and I would willingly lay down my life for it if it would be of any good."[2] Charles was soon appointed as a lieutenant but, in November, he was severely wounded[3] in the Battle of Mine Run. Charles eventually recovered, but his time as a soldier was finished.

Longfellow wrote the poem on Christmas Day in 1863.[4] "Christmas Bells" was first published in February 1865, in Our Young Folks, a juvenile magazine published by Ticknor and Fields.[5]References to the Civil War are prevalent in some of the verses that are not commonly sung. The refrain "peace on Earth, goodwill to men" is a reference to the King James Versionof Luke 2:14.
That said, I love this particular carol but abhor Frank Sinatra’s rendition of it. (No offense — I’ve just always disliked that whole Frankie Sinatra/Bing Crosby/Dean Martin “jazzy” 1950s style music for some reason).

I much prefer these versions: