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W aiting to sing Christmas carols is not easy, largely because they are so well known to us, while Advent music, by contrast, is mostly unfamiliar.

However, I have a proposal that will boost the familiarity quotient of the Advent section of our hymnal by about a thousand. I discovered recently that one of our beloved Christmas carols is in fact not a Christmas carol at all. Watts wrote this series for his congregational church in London, which sang only the text of the Psalms in their worship services.


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Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise … With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of his righteousness And wonders of his love.

During Advent we confess that we live in a world in need of a king, of justice, and of joy. We only have to watch the news for about 30 seconds to know that our world, in its struggles, its sorrows, and its sin, is longing and crying out for a Savior to come.

The Top 100 Christmas Songs

And more personally, during Advent we admit our own need for our king, for his justice and his joy to invade our lives. We all long for the curse to be undone in our own circumstances — for sickness to be healed, for estrangement to end, for justice to finally arrive. The word of hope during Advent is that we know the end of the story; our King will bring a final and lasting justice and joy to our world.

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Katherine K. Davis composed " Little Drummer Boy " in It was popularized in an arrangement by the Harry Simeone Chorale.

ISBN 13: 9781624162640

An animated TV special was created based on the song's story in Bing Crosby's version from the film has sold more than 50 million copies. The recording featured a who's who of current British pop stars. It has become a radio Christmas standard. There seems to be a bit of irony that one of the most popular of all Christmas songs in the United Kingdom would be set in New York. Irish folk-rockers The Pogues released " Fairytale of New York " in , and it has been a favorite ever since. Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi will forever be identified with the music he wrote for "Peanuts" TV specials.

This song written for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a classic.

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It became a hit, peaking as one of the top 10—selling records in the country, and it has since become a Christmas standard. Daryl Hall and John Oates first released a recording of the song in the s and then recorded a new version for their holiday album "Home For Christmas. It quickly became considered a Christmas classic despite the fact the holiday is never specifically mentioned in the song.

At the peak of his success as one of the top teen pop stars, Justin Bieber released a Christmas album titled "Under the Mistletoe. The song " Mistletoe " peaked at No. It became one of the most popular of secular Christmas songs around the world. It is believed that "Silent Night" was first composed in German in The song was later translated into English and sung by both sides in the World War I Christmas truce due to the fact it was the primary Christmas carol that both German and British soldiers knew.

Comedian Adam Sandler created an instant novelty classic in " The Chanukah Song " that strings together a wide range of celebrities and public figures who are Jewish—and some who are not. In a capella group Pentatonix released their first full-length holiday album, " That's Christmas to Me. Scripture forms the basis for the lyrics of " Joy to the World " written by Isaac Watts. Michael Bolton performed his version at Placido Domingo's Christmas celebration concert in Vienna.

Celine Dion applied the huge sound of her voice to the classic song on the collection "These Are Special Times. The song is a reflection on the ending of a relationship near Christmastime. Sarah McLachlan included it on her collection "Wintersong. English Christmas carol "The 12 Days of Christmas" was popular in Europe as early as the 16th century.

It features an increasingly more grand set of gifts with each successive day of Christmas.

Christmas Eve is th anniversary of 'Silent Night' | The Catholic Virginian

The song is cumulative in that each gift is sung with the previous gifts as the song progresses. May in The story was adapted into song and turned into a hit by Gene Autry in Singer-songwriter Jewel recorded " Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer " for her own holiday collection in The Waitresses, a moderately successful punk band, put together the classic Christmas hit " Christmas Wrapping " in It remains a clever combination of punk attitude and experimentation with the young genre of rap. The "Glee" cast put together their own version in led by Heather Morris, who played the character Brittany on the show.

Ross Bagdasarian Sr. His first major hit single was "The Witch Doctor" in It included experiments with speeded-up audio tracks. Those experiments ultimately led to the creation of the Chipmunks, whose voices were speeded up humans.

The Chipmunks have become durable pop culture characters, even performing in their own movies. Leroy Anderson's classic orchestral piece became something of a signature tune for Arthur Fiedler's Boston Pops Orchestra after they recorded " Sleigh Ride " in Let It Reindeer. Ultimately the song was adapted into a popular perennial TV special. Pop star Kylie Minogue shows off the sex appeal of the song in her version. Karen Carpenter's voice fits the melancholy nature of the lyrics perfectly.

Contemporary technology made possible this duet with country star Martina McBride. Novelty classic " Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer " was performed on stage in and quickly spread in popularity through exposure on pop radio. Sting recorded the song and brought it much wider popularity on the first "A Very Special Christmas" album in Carrie Underwood 's performance was part of a celebration of the 75th lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

John Lennon already had a Christmas classic under his belt. This recording has become a perennial top 10 hit at holiday radio. Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson turned in their own sweetly romantic version in Canadian band Barenaked Ladies recorded their version in and included it on the "Barenaked for the Holidays" album in It was included on the band's independently released album "Remember Two Things.

Reverend John Henry Hopkins Jr.

It has since become a perennial favorite. Clay Aiken joined Megan Mulally on her talk show for this performance. Elton John recorded and released " Step Into Christmas " in , a year in which he released three top 10 pop singles and two No.