Christmas in Music

Christmas and its songs will be more poignant than ever this year. In unprecedented times we cling onto traditions as a boat to its anchor, aware of the storms, trying to ride them out, knowing the anchor will hold. Life will prevail and calm will return.

As we prepare for a very different Christmas I am fortunate that my family and friends are all safe. We, like so many, will celebrate within our smaller existing group and look forward to a larger family gathering in the summer instead.

For now, the house begins to glow with the warmth of the light of the season’s decorations. The star adorns the window and is a beacon of hope, I trust.

Music ties us to other times in our lives when we first heard the tune, the emotional connections an inherent part of us. Carols and Christmas songs are even more so and they are a major feature this time of year. I would like to share eight of my favourites Christmas songs with you.

Christmas during my early childhood was celebrated every year at my grandparent’s house in Sweden. It was a joyful bustling affair with up to thirty family members on Christmas Eve (this being the time for family celebrations to start in the afternoon with presents later in the early evening). Although it seemed to take forever for everyone to eat before Jultomten (Father Christmas) arrived there were lots of games, songs and dances to entertain the children.

One of my favourite songs involved everyone holding hands, dancing around the Christmas Tree and house (this was literally possible inside!) whilst singing ‘Nu är det jul igen’ /‘Now it’s Christmas again’. The ensuing chaos was hysterical and would involve us falling to the floor in fits of giggles!

The next song suited my twelve-year-old angst-ridden self perfectly. At school, we were learning about the First World War and I was deeply moved about life in the trenches for the soldiers. ‘Stop the Cavalry’ starts in the voice of one soldier before the song swiftly changes to the Cold War era of the 1980s with references to nuclear fallout, a very real and credible threat.

My single of Stop the Cavalry

I played ‘Stop the Cavalry’ by Jona Lewis incessantly the December of its release until my brother for the sake of his and the family’s sanity took the single into hiding for a month!

Since living in England in the late 1970s we always have a quiet moment of reflection during the festivities and early on Christmas Eve afternoon the TV will be on to listen to the opening solo tones of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ held at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

This is part of ‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ and was introduced in 1918 to bring a more imaginative approach to worship. It was first broadcast in 1928 and is now watched by millions of people around the world.

Christmas is also a time is one of joy and fun, so what could be better than a bop to ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ by Boney M. Anytime this comes on the radio I have to down the pen/wooden spoon/iron/book and dance around, singing away. Do join in!

I discovered my next favourite Christmas song three years ago whilst researching a blog post one winter. It immediately became popular with many followers and I’m sure you’ll recognise it. Click here to see the post and read the lyrics translated into English.

The theme of ‘Tänd ett ljus’ /‘Light a Candle’ is that Christmas will light a candle as a symbol of hope for a better world and it was recorded by Swedish band Triad in 1987. The outro includes Christmas and New Year’s greetings in different languages. The finger-snapping is hypnotising and the a cappella mesmerising. One can’t help but try and ‘dom dom dom’ along!

For many years it was not Christmas unless the Elvis Presley movies were showing every morning! We’d rush down, half asleep and enjoy a relaxing and musical viewing! It seemed to be the unwritten rule that these were part and parcel of the season!

Of course Elvis’s ‘Blue Christmas’ is as popular as ever and although about unrequited love it captures the sadder side of being apart at this time of year.

Christmas of 1984 is memorable for the amazing work of Bob Geldof (lyrics) and Midge Ure (Music) to create ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ Bob Geldof put together the supergroup Band Aid for the event.

As a teenager it was astonishing and heartwarming to see how so many came together to record the song in aid of famine relief in Ethiopia. Band Aid featured the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time and the song was recorded in just one day.
Furthermore, the record became the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone and passing three million sales on the last day of 1984. A record held until 1997.

My final song returns to the message of Christmas reflecting on the birth of Jesus as humanity’s redemption.

‘O helga natt’ /‘O Holy Night’ (also known as “Cantique de Noël”) is composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) by poet Placide Cappeau.

I’ve heard the song many times but it’s one that has particularly enthralled me in recent years. I’m sure you’ll agree that Tommy Körberg’s performance is outstanding and magnificent.

I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to and learning about my eclectic mix of Christmas songs and that they’ve put you in a holiday mood.

I wonder which are the carols or songs you always turn to during the winter holidays! Please feel free to share in the comments!

Wishing you all a peaceful, joyful celebration!

130 thoughts on “Christmas in Music

  1. I’ve just come across this and am listening to King’s College as I type. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Annika. I’m sure you would have. Good health and heaps of happiness to follow 🙂 🙂

    1. Ahhh … Jo, one can never listen to that too many times! Thank you, we had a surprisingly lovely and special Christmas and all well so far though in the midst of it here in Essex! Wishing you all well and lots of happiness for the New Year and May you be able to see your family as soon as possible. Hugs xx ❤️

    1. Excactly, Ann!😀 Until I hear those first tunes, it is not Christmas! Just so long as it’s not in September (which did happen one year in a shop) … I quickly walked out! It’s been a delight to share a selection of my favourites here. Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas! x

  2. It’s Christmas evening – we’ve just finished dinner & games. Interlude now, waiting for time to Zoom with our overseas family.

    Listening to your wonderful selection of nostalgic Christmas music.

    “Stop the Calvary” is not one I am familiar with – it certainly is catchy, and has an edgy message with it.

    Boney M’s “Mary’s Boy Child” sure does bring back memories ….

    And serendipitously, we were listening to this Band Aid album during dinner.

    1. Ju-Lyn, I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas time with your family and on Zoom with those overseas. It is now end of Boxing Day here and we’ve enjoyed three days of celebrations. I’m so glad you enjoyed listening to the Christmas music selection. The serious edgier side of Stop the Calvary is what drew me to the song and reading up about it I learnt he never meant for this to be a Christmas song rather a protest one! It is strange how one can hear a song and then it comes up elsewhere! Band Aid is a classic I feel!

  3. I do sometimes wonder whether our energy/vibe paths are somewhat aligned, Annika. I read your post about Christmas and music a few days ago and I always want to savour and soak up your words.

    I enjoy how you have set up this post and the joyful photos. Wise words how “music ties us to other times…”. You bring me happy tears watching the videos. You remind me how Christmas and children always go hand in hand. A laugh out loud how your family ended up hiding ‘Stop the Cavalry.’ I am speechless…’once in Royal David’s City.’ I enjoyed all of the music. Yes, eclectic……the best kind!

    I wish you and your loved ones a joyful and peaceful season. I look forward to connecting and sharing in 2021. Much love sent your way! ❤️🌈🎄

    1. Bless you, Erica and I totally agree that our ‘energy/vibe paths are somewhat aligned’! Like you, I often savour longer posts and particularly ones with music or videos to return to comment later (and I can’t answer on the mobile phone either).

      I’m touched by your reaction to the various pieces. It is a wonder and gift how music unites us, how it is stored within our hearts, minds and souls. My brother was incredibly patient and looking back I also laugh how I drove him to kidnap my record. I think this was the year he’d bought a guinea pig for me without telling anyone, hid it in the loft and then showed my mother what he’d bought. Of course she cried with joy and ensured the loft lid was open until the guinea pig could come down! Anyway, enough rambling ….

      Warmest wishes for 2021 where we can hopefully see our loved ones freely once again, a year filled with joy and inner peace. love & hugs xx ❤️

      1. “…a wonder and a gift how music unites us…”. I am holding this thought with me, Annika. I often go on walks in total silence, yet, I find I am craving some beautiful music to possibly help with the energy/vibe alignment. Thank you for the reminder. xx ❤️

  4. What a beautiful glimpse at your Christmas family tradition, childhood memories and choice of music! Some of the songs are familiar, thank you for sharing. Music is good for the soul. One of my favourite Christmas songs, Sydämeeni Joulun Teen, is by a Finnish artist, Vesa-Matti Loiri. We always sing along his music as go about with the preparations. 🙂

    Anyway, here’s to wishing you a magical Christmas with your family! ❤

    1. Khaya, thank you so much for sharing Sydämeeni Joulun Teen’s wonderful song … I’m listening to this as we wind down with our Christmas celebrations and to me, it feels both beautiful and haunting in spirit.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my eclectic post of memories, songs and facts … this is a season of songs more so than any other and it has been a poignant time for us all.

      Hope you’ve had a very special few days and that the stunning nature becomes a blanket of peace and magic for you. hugs xx

  5. Annika
    Beautiful post!
    Such varied songs with pieces of your past and music history
    Sweden memories are precious and I just heard the “do they know it’s Christmas” song earlier
    – great holiday post and wishing you a wonderful Christmas

    1. Thank you so much, Yvette! 😀 I’m smiling how you enjoyed all the various elements of the post and was surprised how many Swedish songs featured in my Christmases. Band Aid was sensational at the time … so moving to see how so many cancelled their plans to be part of the project.

      I hope you’ve had a lovely few days of festivities and warmest wishes for the New Year! x

  6. Our special Christmas songs have such deep attachments and connections to other emotional moments of past Christmases, that sometimes I find them hard to listen to – bittersweet memories. They’re beautiful, but some of them just choke me up so much. I can hear my mother’s voice singing them. or they twig any number of other sweet memories. But having said that, they are still a beautiful part of Christmas. Thank you for a lovely post, Annika. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Anneli, I totally understand as you write that some songs have TOO much attached to them, and especially at this time of year. I feel for you as you’re reminded of your mother by some, bittersweet is indeed the word. I have memories of my grandmother singing away hymns and if I hear there it’s almost as if she’s with me. Thank you so much for reading, listening and being part of my musical post. I hope you’ve had a peaceful few days of Christmas. xx

      1. Music is a big part of us, isn’t it. I’m happy to hear that you know what I mean about hearing those hymns and songs. Christmas was good here, but I’m glad for the quiet time afterward too. Onward to a happy new year for us all, I hope.

    1. Yeah!! Exactly … underrated classic! I’ll let my brother know … he still seems to squirm when I insist on playing the song at Christmas time! Hope you have a lovely Christmas too, Ste J! 🎄

    1. What a fun post, Annika! I enjoy reading about how others celebrate Christmas because it always reminds me that we’re not so different after all. When I read about how you celebrated at your grandparents’ house in Sweden It brought back memories of how my family celebrated Christmas when I was growing up. It was very similar. Thanks for sharing and for all the music. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!🎄💕

      1. Vashti, I agree it is lovely to read about other’s Christmases and although different yet similar in all the important ways! How wonderful you also had the chaotic family Christmas celebrations as young. I do miss them a bit and as an adult I’m in awe of all the organisation, cooking, baking, washing up! Wishing you a very peaceful Christmas filled with joy and may the new year bring so much needed happiness and togetherness. Hugs xx ❤️

    2. Ahhh …. Connie, that is the wonder of music — you don’t need to understand the words to feel the meaning of the song! Thank you so much for the lovely comment and for sharing! Merry Christmas! Xx

  7. What a wonderful blog post this is and all about a favorite topic of mine: music. My husband will solo O Holy Night and I’ll do a verse of Stille Nacht in German on Christmas Eve at church. We always end with Joy to the World! So many memories of singing around the piano at home in Colorado and in church. We would sing harmonies which was lovely. Now I will have to play these over and over when our daughter and her husband visit on Christmas. Music has always been food for the soul and sustains me/us still today. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Annika. Thank you for this most enjoyable post!

    1. Mary Ann, thank you so much for your lovely comment and how true that music sustains us … often when words fail. I love the sound of your musical Christmas — enjoy the church celebrations and have a wonderful time with your daughter and her husband. I hope she likes my choices too. I seem to remember that you particularly liked Tand Ett Ljus from my post three years ago? Wishing you a peaceful Christmas filled with joy and thankfulness and all good things for the New year! xx

      1. Annika, I still like Tand Ett Ljus and sang to it. So nice to hear from you once again. Music connects us as does German. Merry Christmas, lovely lady, and much peace and good health in the New Year too. oxox

  8. Lovely to hear about your Christmas tradtions and experiences and your favourite Christmas songs. This year will definitely be different for many. I wish you and your family a happy and safe Christmas and a better 2021.

    1. Thank you, Norah and it’s been fun to share the music and some glimpses into their meaning for me! It is sad how different Christmas will be for so many this year … families such as ourselves are at least not alone although I obviously miss seeing the wider family. However, I know many who will not see anyone and they are finding it very tough. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and may the new year bring some good news and a return to some level one normality… it seems like a lifetime ago! Xx

        1. Well done to your husband and the words are very special – just what we need at the moment! 😀 How lovely that he studied Swedish at uni!! I think there are only three or so in the UK that offer the course and my best friend’s mother was also at York and she loves having a practice of the language when I visit! I can’t believe how much she remembers!

  9. Such a beautiful post, Annika! Thanks so much for sharing another gem. Music is a powerful, reflective gift that connects us to precious moments and memories. Sending blessings and (((hugs))) across the miles, and best wishes for a healthy, joyous 2021. xo

    1. Natalie, bless you for your special comment and it means a lot to me. 😀 When all else fails sometimes, music reaches our inner core … always there for the right mood, moment! Ahh … thank you for the beautiful blessings and hugs — some winging their way right back to you! Wishing you a wonderful albeit very different Christmas and a New Year filled with joy, hope and light! hugs ❤️

  10. This season does have a unique soundtrack … or should I say we all have our own depending on time, place and so on. Thanks for sharing yours!! I am happy you continue to be healthy and wish you and your family joy through this difficult time.

    1. Janice, I agree, it is special with the songs for the season and it has such an extensive soundtrack – each unique to ourselves! It’s been a joy to share some of my favourites and write about them here … though it took some work to narrow them down to just these eight!😀

      I hope you and yours are keeping well, Janice and wish you a peaceful and joyful holiday season! x

  11. I’ve posted before about how I like to rock out for Christmas with Trans Siberian Orchestra. But for a more traditional and breathtaking performance of “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him,” I recommend this one. Sung from the soul. Floods my eyes every time.

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas music, Annika. Merry Christmas and God Bless.

    1. Wow! Lori, this is incredibly powerful and now I’m in tears! Bless you for sharing this version of “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him,”, definitely breathtaking and it will be on my playlist on Christmas Eve and a new favourite.

      I will look for your post on Trans Siberian Orchestra!! Very intriguged and it sounds amazing! I realised I haven’t been to your blog recently and look forward to catching up.

      Wishing you a peaceful and joyful Christmas and may next year be one of light, hope and togetherness (sooner rather than later!) xx

      1. I’m so glad you enjoyed that version of the Christmas song I shared. His powerful, soulful voice is what brings on the tears every time.

        No worries about coming to my blog. I haven’t posted recently, but will post something tomorrow for Christmas.

        The Trans Siberian post was from a long time ago, when I first started blogging. A video of one of their songs is at the end of the post. They mix rock music with classical. It’s an instrumental.

  12. Mike

    Great post Annika,which brings back so many memories of the Christmas record. My favourite has always been God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and here is a You Tube video of it played by my favourite group.

    Have a good Xmas

    1. Mike, how lucky to have your favourite Christmas carol played by your favourite group! I love this musical version … original and catchy! Think I’ll be humming this during the next few days! Many thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas x

    1. Absolutely, Jennie! It is a blessing how music unites us all and I love the quote about music on your last post and that it prevails when words fail us. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😀

    1. Toni, thank you so much and so glad you enjoyed the post! Band Aid was amazing and it managed to achieve in such a short time – quite unheard of at the time! How lovely that Once in Royal David’s City is also one of your favourites – it is very special. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas! x

  13. What a precious and favorite Christmas music remembrance and the richness of the traditions behind them, Annika! Did you sing Now it’s Christmas again in Swedish or English? I love King’s College Cambridge’s opening. The boy’s solo is so peaceful. There’s something about singing in acapella that soothes the mind and spirit! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I share your thankfulness for the safety of the family. We’ll see the grandkids from video chats and look forward to seeing them at least for my younger granddaughter’s 1st birthday in March. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Miriam, bless you for your wonderful comment and for listening to all the pieces. We always sing ‘Nu är det jul igen’ in Swedish and it’s one of the few Swedish songs my husband has mastered!😀 Oh, the King’s College Choir and that solo always mean the true beginning of Christmas Eve, a quiet settling before the celebrations really being!

      Wishing you a safe and peaceful Christmas … we are all having to be extra patient this year but so look forward to seeing the wider family when possible. Ahh … it will be amazing for you to see your youngest grandchild on her first birthday! Precious times. May the New Year be one where meeting and hugging our loved ones is normal once again! hugs xx ❤️

      1. How precious that you sing that song in Swedish, Annika. I gather that your husband is not Swedish!! 😃 I haven’t sung in Chinese for 30 years since we moved away from the Chinese church. My husband is Australian, only speaking English with different accent. But he learned some German. Perhaps he could sing Silent Night in German. I have a friend a little older than me, came to the US when young. She said she could sing Handel’s Messiah in German. I didn’t know it was translated into German.

        I really like boy’s choirs. They have the heavenly soprano voices. More beautiful than female sopranos.

        I’m going to take a break after today, listen to the entire Messiah since our chorale didn’t sing this year, and want to be reflective before the year is over. I scheduled a couple of posts for the remaining year.

        Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your family.🎄☃️. See you next year.

        1. You’re right, Miriam! My husband is English whilst I’m Swedish but moved to the UK when only six years old so all schooling etc have been here. However, luckily my mother did not follow the strict orders from my school to only speak English to me and hence I still speak Swedish fluently and we usually visit family in Sweden every year over a few weeks.

          Handel’s Messiah is amazing and I hope you’ve had a wondrous evening of music. I saw a stunning performance of it in Leipzig whilst there as a student at the Gewandhaus/ Opera House! I had not idea what to expect and the experience was on par of an epiphany! Handel was German from Magdeburg which I was lucky enough to visit whilst there!

          I look forward to reading your posts later this year … only two days until our Christmas!! x

  14. Oh, Annika, this is such a lovely, uplifting post and an amazing eclectic collection of music. My parakeet, Queenie, was inspired to sing along. Wishing you and your family wonder-filled holidays.💜

    1. Ahhh … Carol, it’s so sweet that my musical post inspired Queenie (brilliant name!) to sing along!😀 Thank you so much for listening and your lovely comment. Wishing you a magical holiday time! Xx

    1. Thank you so much, Rosaliene! 😀 The carols and songs are so central for the magic of the season… and as someone pointed out probably even more special since we only hear them at one time during the year. Wishing you a peaceful and relaxing holiday season! X

    1. Ahh … Laura, I adore the phrase ‘musical landscape’ – just so! 😀 I really wanted to capture the variety of music I enjoy at this time. Wishing you a relaxing and peaceful Christmas! xx 🎄

  15. Loved learning more about you and your special Christmas music memories, Annika. 🎄 Music is one of those special gifts that helps to heal and brings us all closer to one another. 💞 Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Christmas and New Year! xo

    1. Bette, thank you for your beautiful comment. ❤️ Music indeed does heal and unite us … its gift so precious. I’m so glad you enjoyed the musical post and memories surrounding them – it provided a great deal of opportunity to reminisce! Bette, may you have a peaceful and blessed Christmas and wishing a year of togetherness again for us all! hugs xx

  16. I remember dancing around the Christmas tree with my brother and cousins, Annika, though I think it was more likely to music playing in our heads than on a record player, lol.
    These are lovely examples from your past, thanks for sharing them with us today ❤
    Happy holidays!

    1. Jacquie, there is something special in the childhood chaos of dancing around the tree with siblings and cousins! Now, I wonder what music was playing in your head … or was it drowned out by the laughter?!

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the musical post … I didn’t want to bore you with too many but enough to give a sense of the Christmas variety. Eight is my ‘lucky’ number so settled on that!

      Wishing you and yours a very special holiday too! xx ❤️

  17. An eclectic selection for sure! I love the dancing around the Christmas tree, I think that one brings out the child in all of us. I have no particular Christmas favorites, although a couple musicians I know from back east used to do a wonderful duet of “A Soalin'”. Here is a Peter Paul and Mary version of it I found.

    1. Lavinia, it is difficult to decide on favourites!! 😀 Thank you so much for sharing ‘A Soalin’, it is beautiul and hypnotic! Oh, isn’t it great when we can tap into that inner child and I’m sure many of the adults who danced around the tree with us enjoyed it just as much! I do miss it!

    1. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas too, Sharon! 🎄 Yes, may the New Year be healthier, safer and one of togetherness & hugs … we all miss so many family and friends! Yet we are so lucky to have so many to love and care for in our lives. love & hugs xx ❤️

    1. Mackay, I’m glad to have introduced you to ‘Stop the Cavalry’! You do know that it will stay in your head for months now!😀 It’s been so much fun to put this post together and to give a glimpse of my Christmasses through the years! Merry Christmas! xx

  18. Hi Annika, I love Stop the Cavalry, and I actually watched Elvis singing A Blue Christmas last night on Youtube. Thanks for the lovely pics too. I have nominated you for The Mystery Blogger Award; I’ll be posting details tomorrow around noon – Irish time.

    1. Elizabeth, it’s great to meet another fan of ‘Stop the Cavalry’!! 😀 Oh, what a great idea to watch films on YouTube and you might have helped us decide TV viewing for this evening! Thank you!

      Ahh … thank you so much for the award nomination. This is a new one to me and I’m most intrigued. I really appreciate the thought and will look out for the post tomorrow!

    1. Carol, putting together the post I loved how the many sides of Christmas were portrayed, as you say, its many ‘facets’! That is its true wonder, winning combination of ‘childlike joy and solemn peace’. May we all find a bit of that this year as well. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Carol … and an extra hug for Bau! xx❤️

    1. Ahhh … Jacqui, I’m glad that I could help to add to your Xmas playlist – I’m always on the lookout for some new ones. Do you have any recommendations?

      Wishing you and your husband a lovely Christmas – it is a matter of mind and spirit positive above the events keeping everyone apart. xx

  19. I loved this post, Annika. The music is wonderful but it was sweet to get a little personal history of how each piece factored in your life through the years. What a variety! The first video was adorable but my favorite Christmas music tends to be choral pieces. I loved the King’s College beautiful voices. Thanks so much for sharing your musical Christmas memories. Have a lovely Christmas and new year full of hope, joy, and togetherness. ❤

    1. Diana, thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful comment! 😀 You know me, I couldn’t just put on a video without sharing a bit about it and how it featured in my life! The ones from early childhood are still special to me and evoke such strong emotions within me. The choral ones are special and there is such a wonderful tradition of these pieces at Christmas times – they capture the essence of the season perfectly.

      Yes, togetherness for next year is what we all long for with all our hearts … may it be possible sooner rather than later. I’m imagining all the laughter and tears as family and friends are reunited. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas, my friend! Thank you so much for your friendship this past year. xx

  20. An interesting and enjoyable selection, Annika. I didn’t know the Swedish ones, of course, and we only overlap by one on your other choices, as you remarked when I posted it. That’s the beauty of music: it can bring joy to us in so many different ways. Have a wonderful – albeit different – Christmas! 🎅🦌🎄

    1. Clive, how true that music unites us and listening to the songs this year they are more poignant than ever, memories of free unfettered time together, which we took so for granted impossible now. Maybe that is why the songs matter more than ever. Oh, I had to feature ‘Stop the Cavalry’ and it’s been fun to tell my personal stories behind each song. Merry Christmas!

      1. You’re right, there is an added poignancy to just about everything this year! Your stories were very enjoyable, and it’s good to have songs that you can associate with those times. Stop The Cavalry is such a good song, and I’m glad you shared your story of it!

  21. Merry Christmas, Annika! Music is such a big part of Christmas and I always look forward to the songs that we only get to hear once a year. Thank you for sharing your favorites!!

    1. Exactly!! 😀 My mother still has several of our favourite LPs, including the 3D Christmas story one! After the 26th December the songs will be packed away for another year so trying to make the most of them now! Merry Christmas, Jan! xx

  22. Merry Christmas. Gut Yule. Feliz Navidad. and a dozen other languages I am too lazy to look up. Wonderful post–it introduced me to several new songs and recalled old, familiar ones. Hope your Christmas is a good a possible. We are staying home alone for the first time in decades–hope it’s a one year only happening.

    1. And Gott Nytt år!!😀 Not lazy at all, Pat and it’s lovely how you’ve written Happy New Year in so many different languates. The last is Spanish, I think and it always sounds so festive to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and songs – it’s great to find new ones and revisit old ones. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and yes, I so hope this will be the only one like this where everyone is kept apart. I’m doing Christmas for the first time ever for the family and luckily my mother is part of our ‘bubble’ so can come to us. Howver we will miss seeing my brother and family very much and been nearly a year now. big sigh …

      Here’s to Happier times in 2021 and keeping positive during this most trying of times! God Jul! xx

  23. Merry Christmas to you and your family Annika! Christmas music truly brings us together! I agree with one of the earlier comments- funny, silly, majestic, beautiful- they all make me happy! “I Wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas”- didn’t make your list this year?

    1. 😀😀 Jena, how could this song have escaped my notice! I’ve never heard of it but already love it!! Has me smiling away … think this goes in the silly and funny category!😀

      It is a wonder how music unites us – truly universal!

      Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Jena! xx

      Here is a link to the song and at about 2.50 min in Gayla Peevey of today takes up the song!

  24. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and music, Annika. “Christmas and its songs will be more poignant than ever this year.” This line resonated with me. Yesterday, as I baked Christmas cookies and listened to carols, I found myself crying when O Holy Night played. The song brought back so many childhood memories when life was carefree and hugs were given freely. Wishing you and your family peace and joy this holiday season, Annika. xo

    1. Jill, how we all will miss those hugs given freely, in former years almost unnoticed letting this normal action pass us by, not realised how precious and rare they would become in 2020. It is a more emotional Christmas than experienced by many for decades. It sounds special to be baking cookies, listening to carols … hold on to those special moments and memories.

      Jill, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. hugs xx

  25. Lovely. Thanks. There are so many songs I remember. Here only one …
    Leise rieselt der Schnee …

    My Danish mother in law made us dance around the tree 🙂
    My Scottish friends invited us to dance in a circle singing Auld Lang Syne

    Christmas I’ll be alone and probably listen to lovely old Bavarian songs with Harp and Zither once recorded in the Baroque Wies Kirche.

    1. Ashen, thank you so much for these two beautiful music shares!😀 I absolutely adore ‘Leise rieselt der Schnee …’ and luckily I’m fluent in German. The pictures are so Christmassy and magical! Are you multi-lingual as well? I’m glad you’ve experienced the delight of dancing around the Christmas tree! How lovely that you mentioned Auld Lange Syne as well … helpfully with the lyrics. I love this one too! We sing this every New Years Eve just after midnight, very poignant and this year more than ever for so many. A true classic.

      I feel for you being alone this Christmas but it sounds as you have some special plans including the wonderful music. God Jul och Gott Nytt År! hugs xx❤️

      1. Ah, yes, I got muddled, Auld Lange Syne is the New Year tune I love. No parties among friends now, which is sad. German is my mother tongue, so I feel nostalgic about songs from my childhood. I’ve been living, studying and working in the UK over 40 years, English, long story, freed up my writing.

  26. Listening to the Kings College service of lessons and carols is always the formal beginning of our family Christmas celebration.

    From our two years in England, we brought home the custom of having a steamed pudding for dessert on Christmas day.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Anne, the setting of King’s College Chapel alone is so spiritual and full solemnity and a moving start to the Christmas celebrations. The music is so ethereal and we have often visited the Chapel as the choir have been rehearsing and it is out of this world! So beautiful I become teary-eyed.

      Oh, how lovely that you’ve adopted the English Christmas Pudding back home … do you set it on fire with the brandy?!

      Merry Christmas to you and your family. xx

  27. I love the memories of your dancing around the tree. We have similar memories at Norwegian Xmas parties and Danish Christmas. It is a lovely tradition and worth preserving. I used to sing Tand et ljus with a Scandi choir.

    1. Amanda, wow! 😀 Two special Scandinavian Christmas parties – what fun! (Well, apart from this year, obviously!) I imagine you know many of the fun songs for children and all the silly actions! Wow! How amazing to sing Tand ett ljus as part of a choir – I reckon a big improvement on my poor attempts! Have you had any chance to do outdoor choir shows this year? I’m not sure what the rules are for Australia at the moment. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. xx

      1. No choirs nor singing in grouos. It was strictly controlled up til the beginning of the month. Now with a small Covid outbreak in Sydney- that may not be allowed again. Merry Christmas Annika! Actually make that Godjul og godt Nytår !🌲

    1. Thank you so much, Phillip! 😀 The star is one I acquired in Sweden the summer bought my flat – I remember feeling ever so grown-up! Oh, I’d totally forgotten It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and am thoroughly enjoying it as I listen to it whilst on my computer. I’m so glad you mentioned this one. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas too!

    1. Darlene, I love Snoopy and The Red Baron song … new to me! Very catchy and the sound effects are great! Songs are so perfect for tapping into any of our myriad of moods and emotions – the wonder of them all! Wishing you a lovely and happy Christmas! xx

  28. Dear Annika, how you have enchanted us this morning. To tell such a wonderful
    tale through music makes it all vibrantly alive.
    To learn about the traditions and events, punctuated and heightened through
    the strong songs and music is a brilliant idea.

    It has certainly worked for me. After reading your wonderful and loving
    story I put your songs on whilst doing breakfast and felt so uplifted.
    Each song with its own strong message. I do love your choices by the way.

    As ABBA sings; Thank you for the music! And your rich memories.🎄.


    1. Miriam, thank you so much for your wonderful comment and I’m so happy you could enjoy a musical breakfast! I’m smiling how you see a tale through the music and I wanted to share snippets about each song. It is fantastic how much music means to us, particularly this time of year and lovely to share some of my favourites here! Oh yes, I forgot Abba … they lived and breathed their music and it’s still iconic. How about their Happy New Year!

      Wishing you a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and may 2021 be an easier one for us all. hugs xx ❤️

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