A Treasury of Christmas Carols



The Hymns and Carols
of Christmas!

Christmas carols and hymns are one aspect of the holiday season that never fail to lift the spirits — and require no baking, no tree stands, and no extension cords. While there is a body of well-known Christmas songs that are perennial favorites, there are many more which have slipped into obscurity.

The purpose of this site is to preserve the rich history of Christmas carols and hymns that might otherwise be lost. My reasons for doing so are very similar to the feelings expressed by the early 19th century collector Davies Gilbert. In the Preface to his landmark 1822 edition Some Ancient Christmas Carols, he wrote:

The Editor is desirous of preserving them in their actual forms ...  as specimens of times now passed away, and of religious feelings.... He is anxious also to preserve them on account of the delight they afforded him in his childhood, when the festivities of Christmas Eve were anticipated by many days of preparation, and prolonged through several weeks by repetitions and remembrances.

On this site, we celebrate both Christmas The Holy Day and Christmas The Holiday. Concerning the latter, Charles Dickens puts these words from A Christmas Carol into the mouth of Fred, the nephew of Scrooge, during his visit to his uncle in the first stave:

I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

This web site is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Here, the celebration of the Christmas-tide does not mysteriously end at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day. Rather, you can celebrate the entire 12 days of Christmas — or even the 40 days of Christmas ending with the Candlemas on February 2nd. Indeed, here you can celebrate the music and spirit of Christmas all year round.

There is no additional content that requires creation of an account or payment of a fee; all content is free. If you like it, download it (you never need to ask for permission).

If you have received a benefit from this site, please consider making a donation to an appropriate charity. Please see the F A Q.

If you have received a "spam" message purportedly from this site, please see What's New. "Spammers" have hijacked several email accounts from this site, making it appear that someone from this site is sending out "spam." To be clear: this site does not send unsolicited email of any sort at any time.

Merry Christmas!


“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you."
                                       Isaiah 60:1


O sing to God your hymns of gladness,
Ye loving hearts your tribute pay;
Your Lord is born this happy day.

The rest of this joyous anthem: O Sing To God.


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Please help spread the good news at Facebook about the over 4,200 Christmas hymns and carols at The Hymns and Carols of Christmas:



April 28, 2014.

It is with great pleasure, and a bit of sadness, to announce my retirement from the Hymns and Carols of Christmas, a website that I created in the year 2002. I am sad to be retiring as this website has been my primary activity in the last 12 years. But I'm pleased to announce that Mr. Richard Jordan has offered to take over the ownership of the site, thus guaranteeing its long-term existence.

Please see Founder Retires; Richard Jordan To Take Helm for additional details.


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150 years of "Silent Night, Holy Night"


Some New Christmas Recordings in 2013


William Emmett Studwell

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Semper Ferians
(Always Keeping Holiday)
The motto of George Ferrers of Lincoln's Inn,
Master of the King's Pastimes, 1551-2
Source: William Sandys, Christmas-tide,
London: John Russell Smith, ca. 1852

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"'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again.
'Mankind was my business.
The common welfare was my business;
charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.
The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water
in the comprehensive ocean of my business!'"
- Jacob Marley


"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.
The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."
- Ebenezer Scrooge

-- A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. 1843


"And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

-- Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas


Charlie Brown:
Isn't there anybody who knows what Christmas is all about?

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flocks by night ....

Charles Schultz, A Charlie Brown Christmas


The Biblical Accounts of The Birth of Christ


"Religious songs are proper expressions of thankful praise."
From Matthew Henry's Commentary on Psalm 33


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