Christmas Songs Around the World
Christmas songs are for many of us, the metaphorical trumpet that sounds at the beginning of the Christmas Season signalling that the buildup to December 25th has finally begun.
Whether that metaphorical trumpet sparks festive joy, or sounds more like a countdown to your impending doom, is entirely dependent on how much you enjoy the festive months. (We sympathise with those who work in retail).
Whatever the case, nobody can deny that Christmas Songs seem to have a powerful effect on listeners, so much so that even the biggest scrooges among us know the lyrics to our favourite longtime Christmas hits.
But have you ever stopped to wonder what the rest of the world listens to in the lead up to "the most wonderful time of the year"? We think the answer's may surprise you!
Here is the list of our favourite Christmas songs from around the world, which you can listen to on our YouTube playlist!
Ah, the land of the Rising Sun - Wacky TV Shows, KFC Christmas Dinners, and undeniably efficient trains, but what does Japan listen to for Christmas?
After meticulous research, we found that Japan instead loves to borrow from other countries to get their Christmas Groove on, and that's why our favourite is Last Christmas by EXILE who have faithfully recreated the song in Japanese.
It's hard to beat WHAM's rendition of the song, especially with the killer vocals by the late George Michael, a British musical legend, but EXILE add their own unique twist to the track, with stunning Japanese vocals, it's easy to see why they made a spot on our list.
Spanish really has a way of getting you in the mood to dance, to seduce, to tango. It's no wonder that Spanish songs regularly hit the UK Charts despite the majority of us not knowing a word the artist is saying.
Of course, you could slip a loved one a brand new CLIK S under the tree so they can translate these songs in real-time, but that's just an idea from us. 👀
Our pick comes from Paty Cantu, a Mexican born Spanish-Speaking self-proclaimed "Drama Queen" who really puts her own naughty spin on Christmas.
Santa, Te Espero A Las 10, literally meaning "Santa I'll be waiting for you at 10" is a fantastic festive hit that beckons back to Kylie Minogue's rendition of Santa Baby, easily making our list.
The United States of America, home to 99% of 90s Christmas Movies we grew up on and probably even more English-Christmas-hits.
Whilst American Christmas songs are something of mountain to sift through, our favourite comes from none other than Andy Williams, one of the greatest singers of all time.
Williams' music will be no stranger to the majority of people, especially with his platinum hits making comebacks in popular movies like John Wick, and in the upcoming Hawkeye series, and it's easy to see why.
With his hauntingly wonderful voice and long lasting legacy, Andy Williams Most Wonderful Time of the Year is our favourite pick from the USA.
Germany, there's likely not a single place in Europe with better Christmas Markets. But how do they get the Christmas Boogy on?
Ever the more traditional country, our pick comes from none other than the American-Born superstar and legend, Nat King Cole.
Many of the Christmas hits in Germany have been foreign, or in many cases, traditional hymns and songs from its rich Christian History.
So finding that Nat King Cole had wonderfully learned German for the sake of releasing this song, enamoured us so much, it simply had to make our list.
Feel free to translate back to the language of your choice with MyJuno.
Not everywhere enjoys the modern pop Christmas Hits as much as the United Kingdom. In Russia, favourites remain as they always have.
Our pick for the cold towers of Moscow is Hark the Herald Angels Sing by the Russian State Chorus. A classic and beautiful Christmas Hymn many of us remember from our childhood.
There's few countries with a more rich and beautiful Christmas history than the Emerald Isle itself, Ireland.
Many of us will have Irish Grandparents with images of the nativity and Christ hung up in the living room, so we can all relate to an Irish Christmas in one way or another!
Our submission comes from the famous Irish Rovers, whose covers of popular Sea Shanty songs from Britain and Ireland in the 18th century have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years. "I Saw Three Ships" combines that cheery Sea Shanty spirit with Christmas in a combo that makes you jump for joy.
And that's why they firmly sit on our list this Christmas.
Italy, like you would expect from the nation that surrounds the seat of the Pope, the Vatican, is steeped in rich Christmas tradition.
Our pick comes from the wonderful Claudia Jung, with her rendition of "Little Drummer Boy" or Il Tamburino. With her stunning voice comparable to stars like Enya, this Italian twist on a classic anthem gets us in the Christmas spirit more than most.
Some classics are just too good to remix.
Whilst many of our readers may be based in the UK and this isn't exactly far from home, we had to use this excuse to share one of the arguably best Christmas hits ever created.
With English songs by far the most common around, our pick goes to the legendary WHAM!
And yes, that means Last Christmas has made our list twice and we are not sorry. George Michael was said to be one of few artists that sounded as magical live as he did on recording, and we are inclined to agree.
Last Christmas is one of very few songs that can be heard year-round, and even the scrooges among us sing along.
A true Christmas Hit, we simply had to include it as our pick for the United Kingdom.
Our pick for South Africa comes from Concord Nkabinde. A little-known South African artist who has wonderfully crafted his rendition of Sizalelwe Indodana, a Zulu rendition of Unto Us, A Saviour is Born.
His use of traditional African instruments, heavenly vocals and quartet, make for by far one of the most beautiful Christmas songs to grace the entire continent. And that is something to be very proud of.
South Korea has been in the limelight a lot recently, and not just because of the hugely popular Squid Game.
Few of us are strangers to how immensely successful and popular K-Pop bands have been around the world in the past ten years.
So it's no surprise our pick for SK's spot on our list is Winter Wonderland by SHINee. Though sung in Japanese, the chorus makes your heart light up.
The members' voices are powerful, and intimate, and that's all you really need at Christmas time.
Check out our own blog on Winter Wonderlands if you want to be inspired with some places of your own.
France, ever the place of romance, mystery, and drama. And this wonderful track by the famous Edith Piaf, one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th Century, encapsulates all three of these notions.
A woman of incredible talent and passion, Piaf sings Le Noel De La Rue with spectacular and haunting brilliance that only she can. A somewhat sorrowful and epic take on Christmas Songs, we think its uniqueness earns it a spot on our list.
For our final entry, we thought we'd find the most unknown festive music we could, so we ventured all the way to Samoa.
Our entry comes from the small-time artist Tama Ole Pouseilala, who crafted this spectacular jam in Samoan for our viewing pleasure.
Manuia le Kerisimasi, literally meaning "Merry Christmas", is a fresh new take on the Christian festival with powerful Samoan beats and vocals.
It almost makes you forget that Christmas is snowy and cold, and casts you away to the tropical beaches of Samoa.
And we think that's great.
Christmas Songs Conclusion
So, what did you think of our list?
Let us know on Instagram and Twitter if these songs got you in the festive groove, and be sure to check out our personal Playlist on YouTube so you can listen to these songs at your convenience this Christmas!