The 10 best Catholic Christmas songs, you ask? Yeah, it’s that time of the year again to plaster the house in red and green, sing songs about Jesus and pitch up a colossal tree in the living room (which is actually a Pagan symbol). We’ll make this reasonably painless, dear reader: Just about any song that mentions Christmas is Catholic because…ready for this? Christmas is a Catholic holiday. Its history may not be completely Catholic, but that’s beside the point. So let’s check out some of the season’s greatest hits for the God-fearers.
- "Silent Night." This title is puzzling…unless Mary was doped up to her eyeballs in narcotics, the night was probably not very silent when she was giving birth in a barn. And how’d Joseph feel knowing the child wasn’t even his? But hey, it’s still one of the faith’s most admired holiday songs. Check out Klaus Nomi’s version of the song if you’d like to hear something with a bit more of a beat. And here’s a fun fact, too: This carol originated in Austria.
- "The First Noel." This one talks about the star that emerged over where Jesus was born on what we now consider to be Christmas night…and how that star led the wise men to that exquisite barn with some neat birthday presents. Don’t be misled by the title, because out of all the Christmas songs we’re treated to in department stores, this one’s meaning is a little closer to our modern perception of the holiday: getting stuff.
- "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas." The word ‘saint’ is right in the title – do we even need to elaborate on this one? Saint, angel, Jesus…these are the magic words in Christmas songs that indicate a faith basis.
- "Joy to the World." Nice personification going on in this song that allows the hills and rocks to sing joyfully. Does that mean everything becomes like Super Mario World during the holidays? As in everything grows a face and can be communicated with? Just wondering, since most Catholic songs don’t talk about rejoicing scenery.
- "O Come All Ye Faithful." Summation of the entire song: “Everybody come look at the baby!” Okay, we’ll give them a little leeway since the assumed savior of humanity was born, but really, do you think he looked any different from any other baby in the world? Then again, being the world’s knight in shining armor means you get a crap-load of songs written about you.
- "Away In a Manger." Wow, Jesus was just born and already he’s being told to stay and help the children. People sure didn’t waste time giving the guy a job. One of many celebratory Catholic songs, but does anyone really even pay attention to some of these lyrics? Tough racket – “Welcome to life, now get to work.”
- "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Yet another of the copious “Yay, Jesus is here!” songs we resound every year. That’s about all the substance there is to this Christmas ballad, beautiful as it sounds.
- "We Three Kings." A good segment of the songs previously cited have regarded Jesus, but there’s not much love for these three fellas who voyaged across a desert on camels in the freaking winter to give a stranger’s baby some presents.
- "The Little Drummer Boy." A child singing about how he has no gift good enough for Jesus, so he’ll just play a song. Just what every newborn wants to hear – a drum beat. Christmas songs sure can be peculiar at times, but they still get you into the spirit of the season, do they not?
- "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." One of just a couple rare holiday songs that is only circuitously about the big JC. This one more or less just talks about a hymn the angels sing.
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